Another month of 2020 is in the books and the world has somehow managed to continue turning. I’ve been squirreled away, digging through my backlog of JRock bands that have been demanding my attention, finding a plethora of new gems to share. So much so that I’ve made a whole playlist on Spotify so I could be sure not to miss any that caught my eye. Be sure to check out our official Rice Digital Playlist, which will mix some new jams with some old classics each month.
Our July JRock Highlights
Aimi – Katakoi
I make no secrets that one of my favourite bands of all time is Stereopony. The Okinawa based group was a force of nature in the JRock scene for a couple of years, popping out several great anime openings and building one of the most distinctive sounds in the genre. Aimi was a big part of that, with vocals that had a fantastic rock edge to them and a natural charisma to her performances. It was not surprising to say the least that they made it to the top 20 of MusicCritic‘s New Released albums section. Again, every JRock band experiences the ups and downs of the music industry, but Aimi has stood the test of time.
When Aimi released this single last year, it slipped just under my radar, but when she released a new version of the music video a few weeks ago, it quickly popped to the top of my playlist and has stayed there ever since. It reminds me of everything I loved about her early work while also having a new sound that gets me moving every time. A definite one to listen to.
Scandal – Spice
Scandal is one of the most exciting bands in JRock right now, pumping out hit after hit and somehow getting better even ten years into their career. Spice is one of their newest songs, an upbeat, high energy jam that showcases Rina’s excellent drum work and the skill that all four bandmates blend their vocals together.
The video for this one is a fun little anime adventure created by anime studio XFlag, who you might remember for the visually stunning film Promare from last year, making it worth a listen even if you just want to take in some more eye-candy along with your JRock. With Scandal due to perform a worldwide livestream on August 21st to celebrate ten years of touring as well as to promote their newest album, Kiss from the Darkness, I’m looking forward to seeing this song performed live in just a few weeks.
Polkadot Stingray – Free
There isn’t really a band out there that sounds quite like Polkadot Stingray. They take being quirky and fun to a new level. I could listen to Shizuku singing all day. She hits notes that most singers would struggle with and makes it seem effortless and smooth, which is a beautiful thing to hear. Combine that with the light-funk guitar playing throughout this song and Free is a wonderful bit of cool to listen to during the hottest months of the year.
This isn’t the first time Polkadot Stingray has featured on my monthly playlist and I doubt it will be the last.
BiSH – Tomorrow
BiSH is an idol group from Japan that is actually a successor to a previous band, BiS. Standing for Brand New Idol Shit, BiSH takes a more hard rock approach to the idol genre, with heavy drums and melodic keyboards accompanying the soaring vocals of a group that can carry almost any note while also dancing and twirling on a stage. They are pure fun and are probably familiar to any Fairy Tail fans, as their single More Than Like was the final opening in the show’s run.
Tomorrow is a must have for any workout playlist you’ve got going while in lockdown. The high energy delivery and powerful guitar riffs will carry you through the wall and onto the other side.
So that’s our current playlist. What have you been listening to the last month? Got any suggestions for our Spotify playlist? Be sure to let us know!