Summer is upon us, and we’re all inching closer and closer to live music coming back into our lives. I’ve already booked in to see a couple of shows this autumn in the hope that they go ahead, but in the meantime I’m still hard at work bringing you the best new and old JRock music to hit the web.
This is our JRock round up for the month of May. Be sure to catch these songs and plenty of others on the Rice Digital Spotify Playlist, updated each month to bring you a fresh dose of music from Japan.
Dead or Alive by Crossfaith
This band was a new find for me. In fact, our kind and benevolent (Go on – Ed.) editor, Pete, sent them across to me earlier this month. Crossfaith lean more into the industrial side of metal than a lot of Japanese bands, but the energy and rage on display puts them in good company. This is one for the metalheads out there who don’t mind some heavy synthesisers changing things up now and then.
Crossfaith have a distinct sound among JRock bands; something that they have cultivated in their more than a decade of touring and recording. The fact that they have kept the same lineup since their formation in 2006 is surprising, but this has allowed their sound to develop more organically. Listening through their back catalogue, you can hear them experiment with different influences and styles, never quite settling in one place for too long.
Tick Tack by Flow
Every anime fan will have heard Flow, even if they don’t know it. Their long career in JRock has been peppered with hits and anime openings for massive shows like Bleach, Naruto, and Dragon Ball. They bring a high energy rock sound with some pop punk and rap influence to their music, something that lends itself to opening up for anime.
In 2020, Flow split with their long-term record label and joined Sacra Music, a group that looks after acts with a focus on international sales, as well as having ties to the anime industry. We’ll have to wait to see if this means we’ll be hearing more of them here in the west, but their latest single, Tick Tack, is some of their most experimental music in years. With a heavy focus on the rap side of their sound, it will be interesting to see if this is a new direction for the band.
Hitohira No Hanabira by Stereopony
I have talked about how much I love Stereopony before — and how excited I was to see their music finally make its way onto Spotify. The band has been broken up for several years now, and it wasn’t until just recently that fans had any hope of seeing a reunion. However, in early May of 2021, singer Aimi and bassist Nohana took part in what they referred to as the Stereopony 2/3 Reunion. This was a chat about their history together and hopes for the future, plus an acoustic performance of some of their music.
I didn’t get a chance to watch the event live as my Japanese isn’t nearly good enough to follow along without subtitles, but there certainly seems to be some excitement and hope for an eventual complete reunion, so I’ve been revisiting some of their classic songs. This one, which served as an ending to the Bleach anime, embodies the hard rock sound and fierce delivery that made Stereopony such a massive hit in their five short years touring together.
Remember, if you’d like more JRock in your ears, check out our Spotify playlist — or join our Discord to share your favourite songs with other Rice Digital fans!
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