3 of the best JRock songs from February

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February might be the shortest month, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been an exciting one for us on the JRock front. Between a whole host of new music and getting to talk to the fashion mannequins turned pop stars of FEMM, there is a lot of to celebrate in the scene right now.

As always, here are a few of the JRock tracks that got us through the month, but if you want more you can always check out the Rice Digital Spotify playlist, which is updated every month with music from across the spectrum of Japanese bands.

Frisbee – Bradio

I am a simple man: I see a new Bradio video and I click on it, but this one is a particular treat. This is a band I’ve spoken about on many occasions because they always manage to bring a bit of fun, funky style that is immediately recognisable. These boys bring high-energy funk to the music scene, and it is always a delight to hear new music from them. Simply put, they do not miss, and Frisbee is no exception.

Frisbee is a song from their most recent EP, The Volcanoes, which came out in February. The song is distinctly Bradio, with their signature cheeky humour and funky vibes coming through perfectly. The video, meanwhile, is their first fully animated outing, and it is great to see how well their style translates into anime. With character designs that feel very Lupin III and action that clearly draws inspiration from the best bits of Cowboy Bebop, sign me up for a whole season of this.

Wonder Neighbor – Oreskaband

Ska is all about bringing people together, and this new track from one of the best bands in Japan shows that in a wonderful way. Oreskaband brings the ska-punk side of the JRock scene in all their songs, but this newest offering feels like a new moment. Wonder Neighbor is fun and catchy, with a hook that has absolutely no business being as infectious as it is. There is a sense that this is a band who are finding a new sound and a new style that they want to play around with, and that is really exciting to see.

As well as both this and previous single Stormy being absolute bangers, Oreskaband’s new album Bohemia is looking like it will be an absolute joy when it drops in just a few days. I might be biased, with my deep love of ska often sneaking its way into my articles (I hadn’t noticed – Ed.), but it sounds like it could easily be one of the best albums of the year, despite stiff early competition from some massive bands like Scandal. Oreskaband remains one of the best JRock bands to keep an eye on.

Dude – Polkadot Stingray

Polkadot Stingray is a band that never fails to make something catchy with every song they put out there. This one is no different, with Shizuku’s vocals giving life to a song that moves effortlessly from one fun moment to the other. Even when she shifts into a more spoken-word poem/rap element of the song, it is unmistakable as the funky groove that the band has always been known for.

The video offers a great play on gender roles and the expectations that surround them, along with carefully choreographed dances and poses that fit in perfectly with the song’s pop-infused feel. This is some of the best JRock out there, with some incredibly talented musicians backing up one of the most charismatic and effective singers in the world.

That’s this month’s JRock round up, but don’t worry. Got a band or song you want to see get a bit more love? Let us know in the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!

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