Okay, hello, hi. How are we doin’? I’ve been doing a little digging around in my free time this past week to find some cool bands and sounds for my future DJ sets here at WKNC, and I stumbled upon a little bit of treasure for myself.
I’ve taken a dive into the Japanese Hardcore punk scene. With a little bit of background research “sponsored” by Google translate, Wikipedia and Discogs, we can explore some of the limited (on my end) originations of this genre and see some of the directions it has spread until today’s time.
Wikipedia says Japanese Hardcore started in the 1980’s to protest social reforms that were occuring at the time in Japan. With these musical protests came what is regarded as the first band on the Japanese Hardcore scene: SS.
Unfortunately, SS does not have any of their music released onto streaming services like Spotify or Bandcamp, but you can take a listen to this YouTube recording to get a taste of their sound. They have a similar style to renowned punk bands like Bad Brains and Black Flag’s earlier vibes.
SS’s sound was a perfect platform for the explosion of noises that have taken off from this point on in Japan.
One of my favorite websites I like to use for exploring genres is Every Noise at Once (shoutout to the previous GM of WKNC for teaching me about it). I was able to find tons of new, classic and stale sounds from Japanese Hardcore music here.
One of the drawbacks is that it only lists artists and bands that can be found on Spotify, so I had to do a little more research through Bandcamp (great article covering neat bands from this genre) and YouTube to discover the unique sounds that I knew were out there.
Here a few of my favorites and links to their work:
Sicilian Blood – I loved their flashy play style, the quick vocals, rapid-fire drums and the noise level. They’ve got a mix of English curse words and Japanese lyrics, so anyone listening can have a fun time thrashing.
Sekiri – This band’s name translated to English is “dysentery”; they’re an all female group who formed in 1983 and disbanded in 1995 by 14 to 15 year olds according to Discogs. Who has more punk spirit than the youth? Sekiri’s got mellow, husky vocals, loud drums and a quiet but efficient guitar. I love listening to their track “4649, but I’m excited to explore their limited discography in depth.
One more band I got for y’all is THE CONTINENTAL KIDS. I’ve really only listened to a few of their tracks (because I haven’t been able to find more of their content) and it’s got the energy that I was looking for. In “BANZAI ATTACK” the band unleashes a barrage of noise with some classic metal influenced guitar riffs, throaty and evil vocals and some fast paced drums which add to the nostalgic feel THE CONTINENTAL KIDS produces.
I really enjoyed perusing this genre of music and I can’t wait to create a future set out of the artists and bands I’ve taken a liking to. I hope some of this has been informative or even an interesting perspective on this genre. There’s tons more of these sounds and variations out there.
As a treat, if you made it this far, here’s a cool “Holy Diver” cover of Dio’s legendary track.