Six of the best underappreciated female fronted JRock bands

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J-music has always been a blessing, but with so many musicians to discover and listen to, the search can be a gruelling task. So let us help you with that! Here are six of the best female fronted JRock bands you may not have heard of before – ones who deserve much more attention and acclaim than that which they already get.


Female fronted JRock bands: Doll$boxx

The first of our female fronted JRock bands for today is DOLL$BOXX, who were formed in 2012 as an all-female hard rock/metal band, with members drawn from the even more obscure Gacharic Spin and LIGHT BRINGER. They bring a spectacular balance between the heavier side of LIGHT BRINGER vocalist FUKI’s sharp edge and extraordinarily powerful vocal range with the lighter pop/indie sound of Gacharic Spin’s sensibilities; it creates something well and truly unique that appeals to a wide range of listeners.

The group’s only album DOLLS APARTMENT, released the same year they formed, is an album that should be in any J-music lover’s collection. Every single one of its tracks is a premium bop and withstands the test of time, plus they have incredible music videos to accompany the singles alongside some of the greatest lyrical work FUKI has ever penned and an overall sound that perfectly captures their key theme. DOLL$BOXX is one of the most blessed collaborative efforts the world has ever seen. Not enough people know about them!

Dazzle Vision

Female fronted JRock bands: Dazzle Vision

Dazzle Vision, while popular enough in their particular scene, are not given enough credit for being the masterful musicians that they are. They formed in 2003 and lasted all the way into 2015 when they disbanded, and they left behind some of the greatest Screamo-Pop tracks to have ever been made. This is mostly due to vocalist Maiko’s exceptional ability to flip back and forth from her melodic and death-voice vocals.

The band were actually the forerunners of the now highly popular “Kawaii metal” genre, best seen popularised by Babymetal. If we had to suggest where to start with Dazzle Vision, you have two choices considering their larger discography – dive head first into arguably their best album Camelia Japonica, which best represents their highest points in showcasing their style and sound; alternatively, check out their only remix album SHOCKING LOUD VOICE and have a listen to how their overall sound developed across the years.


Female fronted JRock bands: Yapoos

Jun Togawa is a true enigma and one of the most genuine musicians out there; someone who simply exudes her own sense of style and oddities that are simply her staying true to herself. The energy and musical artistry she puts into any of the many projects she has had a hand in over the years is as wild as they are unique.

Having been the person responsible for forming Yapoos, a post-punk/new wave/synth-rock band whose experimental, ero-guro-themed unit put them on the map back in 1984. Their disturbing and heavy topics in their lyrics and always evolving sound is what retains their notoriety in this day and age. Check out their 1998 album 大天使のように (Dai tenshi no yō ni) to hear that for yourself!


Female fronted JRock bands: MEAN MACHINE

Chara and Chiwaki Mayumi started MEAN MACHINE with the sole intention of simply having fun forming a unit where an all-female band has its members playing on designated instruments they have not played before.

Formed up of actress Ayumi Ito on vocals, musician and DJ Chiwaki Mayumi on guitar, solo artists YUKI and Chara on drums and musician YUKARIE on bass, each member also got to write up various songs. This allowed certain ladies free rein on expressing themselves in a completely new light unlike anything that they had previously been allowed to before. It goes without saying their their raw and rough sound was expected with it coming from such a bizarre premise to begin with. But with that came some of the most experimental, chaotic and entertaining musical pieces to come out of J-music.

With only one album and two singles deriving from their conception before they were quickly dissolved due to conflicting priorities with their careers, their album CREAM performed extraordinarily well in the charts, hitting seventh place on Oricon and for 5 consecutive weeks. This is both a female-fronted JRock band and a passion project time should never forget.

Head Phones President

Female fronted JRock band Head Phones President

Fronted by the incredible ANZA, best known for portraying the Sailor Moon in the musical stage play Sera Myu, as well as previously being established as an active stage actress in Japan’s Les Miserables productions, ANZA’s numerous talents can be recognised with just one look at her many accomplishments across a variety of projects. As the voice of metal band Head Phones President, she sought out this position to show another side to herself that can now shed the family-friendly and refined façade she has been so well known for previously.

Often edging into alternative, avant-garde and nu-metal genres, ANZA found a way to freely express herself for who she truly was in the band. This gave her the freedom to write lyrics that express her deepest wounds and emotional struggles from her lived experiences – a major one being how she had always felt like an outsider due to her mixed race. The ability for her to be herself and as expressive as she is in Head Phones President makes for one of the most authentic, emotional and uplifting bands to be found in Japan. It’s hard to pick out an appropriate enough starting point in their discography for this reason, so pick wherever!


Female fronted JRock bands: Rampant

Rampant is the most obscure band mentioned here on this list, which a disservice to their evolution and underappreciated star power. Despite the sheer rawness of their earliest releases, their refinement across the years is what makes being a fan of theirs such an honour. From the get-go, their melodic take on the genres of both metal and screamo made for some of the most soul warming songs to come out of their scene.

With CHOICE OF LIFE from 2008 having a particularly notable rough around the edges star quality as their first album release, their raw talent would see great improvement as the band become more refined in their sound and style across the years. Quite notably, Hiroki’s vocal improvements across each release between 2005 and 2013 makes this band worth checking out just to see her growth as a musician.

Remember to check out Rice Digital’s Spotify Playlist and our regular JRock Roundup for more music recommendations!

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Lilia Hellal
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