HIGH & MIGHTY COLOR
Hard melodic rock at its finest. The band originally started off as a Metallica cover band before making it big. They are also another band to make it big out of Okinawa (following the steps of Orange Band & Mongol 800). The songs, “Pride” & “Ichirin no Hana”, helped to propel the H&MC to mainstream exposure. The band had a new vocalist last year, with HALCA leading the way instead of Makii. They have also made multiple American appearances, with the latest being at Sakura-Con 2010 this past April. Unfortunately, H&MC are breaking up, but their songs are well-executed and we hope to see them come back together in the future.
Don’t be fooled by the name because this is another good group. Several of their songs have been featured in various anime series, such as BLEACH, Fullmetal Alchemist, and GTO. Their music is a mix of rock, pop, and ballad. Akihito Okano (vocalist) has a great voice that draws you in. Their recent album, TRIGGER, was #1 on the Oricon charts a while ago. Their songs appeal to just about anyone. Porno Graffiti is also known to be huge fans of ’80s rock as well.
MAXIMUM THE HORMONE
Gotta have one Japanese nu-metal band in this list. Most of you guys would know the band from Death Note, where they did the songs “What’s Up, People!?” & “Zetsubou Billy” for the second season of the anime series. Maximum the Hormone is hardcore, pure, loud, insane, & feral. What makes this band special is the drummer, Nao. She sings back-up vocals and her voice is very different from Daisuke (vocals), Ryo (guitarist, clean vocals) & Ue (bass, backup vocals). It offers a unique contrast from the frontmen. Nao is also a very FEROCIOUS drummer. You will be amazed at how much energy she delivers for a petite girl like herself. The band won “Best Rock Video” for their song, “Tsume Tsume Tsume” at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Japan. They also toured America with the Dropkick Murphys back in 2008. ROCK BAND needs to have Maximum the Hormone for the nu-metal audience. You have to love a band where everyone sings.
Super garage rock for the win. You can think of this band as a Japanese version of the Ramones, but much louder and heavier. Guitar Wolf’s live shows are known for them not pausing during any of their sets. Their brand of music became so unique to the point where the band coined it “Jet rock’n’roll”. This is in reference to Joan Jett, who is a big influence for the frontman Seiji. The band toured the U.S. in 2005, but suffered a huge setback when one of their members, Bass Wolf, died of a heart attack at the age of 38. However, the band found a new bassist, U.G., and continued to rock on. Guitar Wolf has also done cover songs from a variety of American rockers, including Bruce Springsteen and the Clash. Very old-school.
That’s it for our feature! We hoped you enjoyed reading our list. These were the bands we chose after a lot of research (Sorry, Girugamesh fans). Let us know if you want to see more features such as this or what J-Rock bands YOU would like to see in ROCK BAND. See ya!