5 Japanese Pop / Punk bands you might wanna know about
Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about 5 French Pop / Punk bands you might wanna know about and as crazy at it seems, it has been so far my most viewed article on my blog. As my interest from punk & co grew more and more since that time, I wanted to give a shoutout to more bands I’ve discovered but from Japan this time. Unlike France with either hardcore or indie-psych-post-proto-experimental music, Japan seems to have a huge straightforward pop independent scene that is matching my taste perfectly.
Pop punk from Nagoya. Started in 2005. Abbreviated as スぺサン.
Energetic and very catchy band lead by guitarist and (awesome) vocalist Misaki since its beginning. She’s currently the only one remaining in the band touring with support members while looking for musicians to join the band. Let’s hope she can find members again, their music is so good it would be a shame we don’t get more of it. They use to sing exclusively in English but on the last records it’s mainly Japanese.
Pop punk / Melodic hardcore from Osaka. Started in 2012. Abbreviated as ヤバT.
“3 piece girl’s technopop unit targeting 50 years old women” according to the band’s website. This silly band is full of humor. The name itself could be translated as Crazy T-shirts Store. Their lyrics are often describing crazy stuff and using bad puns. For example Happy Wedding Mae Song wishes happiness for a couple hurrying to get married but including things like “you might break up and divorce within 2 years but happy marriage”. They mainly sing in Japanese.
Melodic punk from Ehime. Started in 2012.
Sometimes emotional but often fast and very melodic punk, they also use skank riffs and ska sounds for the best. When I discovered them, they weren’t really making a lot of views on YouTube but they got quite popular quickly. I wouldn’t say it’s a mainstream band now but it’s growing fast and they are taking part in a lot of festivals now. They sing in English but often mix it with Japanese.
Pop punk from Chiba. Started in 1998. Abbreviated as エルレ.
If you only listen to their English songs, you won’t notice this is a japanese band. Or maybe, I don’t know, I’m not a native English speaker but my point is the English pronunciation of the singer is perfect. They have this Simple Plan-like melodies but also deeper Weezer-like songs. They chose to take a break in 2008 to focus on other projects they had but decided to reunite 10 years later. At the moment, no records is planned but they are touring in some festivals. You might just want to hope.
Punk / Hardcore from Osaka. Started in 1991. Abbreviated as ハイスタ.
Slightly hardcore sometimes, almost always punk, definitely poppier now (if that’s a word), it’s quite an old band but they definitely deserve your attention. They last released “The Gift”, a song from the eponym album they printed on a Shibuya station wall in Tokyo before releasing the actual song, so people could play it before. They mainly sing in English.