5 Other Bands From Japan You Must Check Out

When Japanese rock band ONE OK ROCK announced their European tour, the London leg sold out almost as immediately tickets were on sale. The original venue of the modest Highbury Garage had to be bumped up to the bigger and beefier Islington Academy due to the overwhelming response. And this week, ONE OK ROCK will be making their way to the Hard Rock Coliseum for a much anticipated performance in Singapore. 

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ONE OK ROCK are famous for fusing emo, metal, and rock. Along with Takahiro Morita's unequivocal voice and interchangeable English-Japanese lyrics, they have quite a distinct sound that has garnered praise and adoration from a worldwide fan base. 

The Japanese music scene goes beyond crazy, screaming, and obsessive fandoms and the sugary mainstream J-pop we are more used to seeing. As we look forward to Friday (that's when ONE OK ROCK are playing), we present to you a handful of Japanese bands worth checking out. Kanpai!


Just like ONE OK ROCK, Toe also enjoys a European fanbase. They mix post-rock and math-rock with ease, to create the best sound imaginable. Also one of the tightest bands live, nobody sits still at a Toe gig. Their highly technical instrumental work makes for an interesting performance. Yes, they may be 'mostly instrumental' but never, never boring. 


Female-oriented band (the drummer is male) who play good math-rock, quite a novelty element going on there. Past the appearances, the tricot gang are impressive musicians. Music that is insanely catchy, complex and vibrant, the band also translates this to their much acclaimed intense and energetic live performances. 


Yet another band from Japan infusing different genres to create some pretty spectacular art. Mouse On The Keys craftily put together jazz, math-rock, and post-rock. Wait till you see them live, with the manic pounding on the keys and urgent drum sequences - it won't be surprising if something were to combust in the same room they are playing. Madness, we tell you.


Think something ambient and cinematic like post-rock, combined with heavy, melodic post-hardcore. That is Envy. And they've been around twenty years! Imagine sheets of guitar floating hauntingly and the coming down crushingly hard, sounds pretty hardcore but it is actually quite beautiful. Trivia: Our local boys Amateur Takes Control have opened for this band on their tour here in 2011. 


Noise rock + grindcore + experimental + electronica + pop, Melt Banana is a breathless whirlwind of a band. Chaotic, edgy, and euphoric, we dare you to not be blown away by them. 

Special mention: SPECIAL OTHERS

A testament to Japanese roots in classical and jazz music, they combine improv jazz and post-rock music resulting in a pleasant and rather intelligent listening experience.