Seven Japanese Acts To Watch In 2015

I’m off to Malaysia for an epic two week adventure of stuffing myself with amazing food and getting a proper sun tan cos it’s about 90 degrees and sunny as f*ck! Yay!

But before I do I thought I’d share my thoughts on what Japanese bands are going to create a stir in 2015 because, well, because I feel like it.

(this is a slightly adapted post to the one that appeared in Huffpost)

The Gazette

The Gazette’s fandom in Japan is so intense that they caused part of the world’s busiest station, Shinjuku, to be closed when they did an unannounced performance on the streets outside. Word got out minutes before they hit the stage, and the expected crowd of 250 turned into 7000 before the cops came and closed it down. This year the band celebrate their 13th anniversary and maybe the release of an 8th studio album should see them move onto exciting things, including a possible return to the UK.

Salyu x Salyu

Super interesting band! And this song gives you a flavour of their eclectic style. Comprising singer Salyu and guitarist Cornelius, the band remind me at times of Stereolab’s Dots and Loops. But you should totally make your own mind up; and if you’re in Australia you can catch them on tour until January 31.


Scandal are a fairly conventional four piece but their songs are catchy and their image has made them style icons for girls across Japan. The band have already sold out some massive Japanese shows for their 2015 world tour and they play Islington Academy April 26.

Dempa-Gumi inc.

According to Wikipedia Denpa is a musical thing in Japan that is “intentionally strange and catchy. Common features of denpa songs include intentionally off-key vocals, nonsensical lyrics and an over-the-top tune”. I hate to admit it but the chorus is catchy; and if you thought so too you should check out their utterly batshit mental cover of Sabotage. It kinda sounds like a herd of cats on acid stuck in an arcade game.

Maximum The Hormone

Any band writing songs that lurch from ‘jolly pop’ (my own genre, ‘natch) to extreme metal in the space of two minutes is going to get my vote. 2015 should see the four piece build on their considerable 2014 successes in Japan and the USA, and I praythey play the UK as soon as possible.


Allegedly Babymetal have written a new song about bubblegum, which I suppose is natural considering their last single was about chocolate. Word on the street is that it involves drum ‘n bass, adorable dance moves and heavy as f*ck guitars. And it’s very very very catchy. Touring the UK in the summer, possibly, I’m guessing, erm. I shall say no more.


Necroma (as they’re also known) are a deeply unsettling combination of ultra-traditional Japanese folk music and grinding black metal. Not everyone’s taste for sure, but if you like your music bleak, eerie and haunting then you should certainly give them a chance. New singles are promised over the next few months and if they keep producing this kind of creepy weirdness, I think they might go places.

But what do you think? Have any acts you think I’ve missed out? Then why not say so in the comments or Twitter?

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