The essential Stereopony

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Not every band sticks around forever. Sometimes creative differences send people in different directions, while occasionally bands have more tragic reasons for breaking up. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth listening to any more, of course. One of my all-time favourite bands, Stereopony, hasn’t toured or recorded together for nearly a decade.

With the tenth anniversary of their farewell concert approaching, let’s take a look back at the brief but incredibly prolific career of JRock icons, Stereopony.

The Essential Stereopony

Stereopony

Stereopony was a JRock trio that made their first entrance onto the scene in 2008. With Aimi Haraguni on lead guitar and vocals, Nohana Kitajima on bass, and Shiho Yamanoha on drums, the band had a rougher, more stripped back sound compared to some of their contemporaries. However, there was always plenty of polish and skill on display in their music. From their first single, Hitohira No Hanabira, it was clear that the group had plenty of talent to offer. The song was used as an ending theme to Bleach and went on to hit Number 25 on the Oricon charts.

The group went on to release three studio albums between 2009 and 2011, averaging one a year at a time when the band’s members were just reaching 20 years old. Their music was featured in several anime over the years and each of their albums cracked the Top 40 of the Oricon charts. So why was their time together so short?

Despite their impressive success, the band ultimately disbanded in 2012 because of lead singer Aimi’s ongoing health issues. That year, she had surgery to remove a throat polyp. After taking a month off while she recovered, the band collectively decided to part ways by the end of the year. Each of them has had some individual success in the years that followed, with Nohana and Shiho forming Draft King, while Aimi would go on to record both in ALiCE IN UNDERGROUND and as a solo performer.

Hitohira No Hanabira

This isn’t the first time I’ve celebrated this song, but it is impossible to include a list of Stereopony songs without throwing this song into the mix. Their first single is exactly as high energy as you’d expect from a great JRock band, with brilliant work on both drums and guitar from the members. At the age of just 18, Aimi showcases a fantastic presence behind the mic, with powerful vocals that hold the song together brilliantly. If you want to boil Stereopony’s sound down to a single track, this is the one to do it.

Seishun Ni, Sono Namida Ga Hitsuyou Da!

While this song didn’t do much to crack the charts at the time, it is undeniably fun and catchy, and it captures the youthful nature of the band perfectly. Released as part of the band’s debut album, it was ultimately overshadowed by other, more popular songs on the record, but this pop-rock sound about wanting to fall in love as the seasons change remains one of their very best.

Stand By Me

The drum track at the start of this song is a wonderful thing to behold, fueling the song with power and energy that matches the vocal’s passion perfectly. Shiho was a brilliant drummer, able to hold her own in any group without question. Stand By Me was released in 2012, just a few months before the band would ultimately disband and proving that they were still a force to be reckoned with right up to the end of their brief time together.

Their time as a band might have been short, but Stereopony managed to give us some of the best JRock tracks of the time, all of which hold up fantastically a decade after the group disbanded. They are still worth checking out for JRock fans out there.

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