Another month down and we inch closer and closer to live gigs coming back and giving us a little bit more of what we’ve been missing. (In the meantime, there’s always virtual gigs! – Ed.) Until that happens, though, we’re all looking for new JRock to listen to add to our playlists.
Fortunately, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best songs that played on repeat in my house over the past month. Some are old and some are new, but all of them are worth a listen.
For more JRock to get stuck into, check out the Rice Digital Spotify playlist, updated every month with new and old jams to get you moving.
The End of Life by Free Kick
One of my great musical loves, aside from JRock, is ska. It is a genre that hasn’t seen mainstream success since the 90s but continues to have a thriving and evolving underground scene. In Japan, there are few who are flying the ska-punk flag harder than Free Kick. This band out of Hokkaido has all the manic energy and skill you’d expect from a Japanese ska-punk band while still having their own unique style and sound.
The End of Life is from Free Kick’s 2014 album The End is Near and embodies a lot of what makes this band so exciting. It has a lot of upbeat energy as well as a great horn section to lift your spirits. Whether you’re a ska newbie or you’ve been skankin’ for years, this song is a great one to dip your toe into the world of Japanese ska.
Renegades by ONE OK ROCK
ONE OK ROCK is a JRock band that seems to have a lot of very famous friends. They’ve toured with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Linkin Park and 5 Seconds of Summer in the past, as well as joined on for the Warped Tour travelling music festival. They’ve done a lot of hard rocking over their sixteen-year history and always have just enough overseas success that I’m looking forward to their next tour hitting UK soil.
Renegades will be familiar to folks who watched the latest Rurouni Kenshin: The Final, but this isn’t the first time the band has provided a song for the Rurouni Kenshin films. This one has an epic feel, channelling the influence from Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance. It’s a great one to add to your workout or running playlists as it is guaranteed to get you moving.
Down by Back-On
Another perfect workout JRock track now that gyms are opening up in the UK, Down is from Back-On, a band that fans of anime Fairy Tail will recognise instantly from their work on the opening, Strike Back. This song is the band’s first single since celebrating fifteen years together back in February.
Down has all the energy and grit that we’ve come to expect from Back-On while adding in some solid pop hooks and a little industrial influence to the mix. It absolutely should feature on any workout playlist you come up with over the next month. If you want more from Back-On, our friends at JPU Records are releasing the band’s 15th anniversary greatest hits album, Flip Sound, on April 30th, which will include some of the past anime openers as well as some fresh music to celebrate a decade and a half of making music.
If you’re looking for more JRock, be sure to check out the Rice Digital Spotify playlist, which has these songs plus loads of others to check out. And if you need even more of a music fix, we’ve got a whole channel for music over on our Discord server to keep you satisfied.
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