Take a look at the Japanese Hardcore scene

Originally published at: Take a look at the Japanese Hardcore scene | Boing Boing


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I recently fell down a rabbit-hole of listening to women-fronted/all-women Japanese metal bands. The diversity of form is pretty wild, and from a Western perspective has some weird sub-genres.

I knew about “Babymetal” but had always assumed they were a novelty group - turns out metal “girl groups” are a whole genre, where young women in matching outfits do choreographed dancing while singing in a high-pitched J-pop style over backing metal performed by an anonymous band. There’s a death-metal sub-genre within it where the singers alternate between J-pop singing and death-metal growling. Which seems to have had the effect that death-metal isn’t treated with the same kind of po-faced seriousness it seems to get in the West. So there’s authentic groups being playful in the form.

That results in bands such as “Hanabie,” clearly friends with different interests who formed a band - that rocks pretty hard - where each member is sort of doing their own thing, one of which is death-metal (though they end up being more… melodic hardcore?). It creates some hilarious juxtapositions with the kind of Western death-metal I’m familiar with.
Western Band: “We love death and Satan.”
Hanabie: “We love Sailor Moon and sweets!”
Western Band, being dark: “All is pain and destruction.”
Hanabie, being dark: “…but what if eating all those sweets gives us diabetes?”

“Also online dating sucks!”

It’s especially charming in the live performances, with the diminutive lead singer performing while standing on a box, sounding very much like a bear, growling out “thank you very much” between songs and grinning, and then doing an unselfconscious little dance every time the other singer takes over. Or the occasional livestream, where they might perform their songs while playing each other’s instruments - badly. No artifice, just authentic, un-serious fun.


Oh, I’m super grateful for these recommendations, brother.

These are going directly into my playlist.


Check out crossfaith, amongst my favorites

Listening to these Japanese guys talk about Hardcore they sound exactly like their American counterparts, they really get it, which is super cool. Sometimes you’ll get bands that’ll adapt a style or sound but not understand the underlying community or message, that’s definitely not the case here.

Hated and Proud
Death Threat

To all the kids who still got heart.
To the ones who were here from the start.
If you live hardcore you got nothing to lose.
If you really got heart you got nothing to prove.
You’re here for the right reasons.
The music, the message and the friendship.
You don’t change with the seasons .
You don’t have to because you live it,
Love it or leave it.
I said it again because i truly believe it.
This is a way of life,
Not a game for the weak.
It’s pumping through our veins,
Even the way we speak.
We’re alone in this world.
Outcast, hated and proud.

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