Recommended Artist: RADWIMPS

If you’re a fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers, you’ll like this band.

Meet RADWIMPS, a funky JRock band that formed in 2001 from when they were merely high school students. Their quirky name come from two random English words, “rad” and “wimp.” Their OHP have coined their band name meaning as “superlative coward” or “excellent weakling.” In other words, an oxymoron. Interesting, huh? Their sound, however, is anything but.

The members are Noda Yojiro on vocals and guitar (3rd from the right aka the tallest one in that picture), Akira Kuwahara on guitar as well as the leader of the band (first on the left), Yuusuke Takeda on bass (the one with the French beret-like hat on) and Satoshi Yamaguchi (far right with the plaid shirt).

Their lyrics consist of both English and Japanese as Noda grew up in California up until he returned to Japan after 4th grade. However, what’s strange is RADWIMPS’ English lyrics are nonsensical and humorous. Their Japanese lyrics are simple, touching, and just downright tearjerking. What’s consistent in both languages are the wordplay. In Japanese, the kanji characters have several ways in being pronounced depending on how it is used in the sentence and RADWIMPS makes full use of this.

I first heard this band back in 2007, when their 4th album came out. It was catchy and fresh aside from all the other things I was listening to at the time (lots of GLAY and other various old school bands, like Raphael and Kyosuke Himuro’s solo works). Then I heard their 3rd album and completely fell in love.

Their latest album, “Autocolony no Teiri” (which translates to “Autocolony Theorem” came out this past March. Here are a few songs I’d suggest for a first time listener.

From “Autocolony no Teiri”:

Oshakashama

“Sakebe”

A few of my personal favorites from this band are “Ameotoko,” “September-san“, “Otogi”, “Iindesuka?” and “Saigo no Uta”

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