Visual kei is a style movement in Japanese music. KISS would be proud of their heavy makeup. Although the hair styles might be a bit too much work for the old school rockers. Visual kei is also full of flamboyant costumes and often makes you wonder what sex the musician really is.
Some people consider visual kei as a music genre as opposed to just a fashion. Visual kei bands are often punk or heavy metal.
The style ranges from glamorous to goth and to cyberpunk. The glam visual kei bands often remind me of 80′s rockers like Dio with their over-the-top music videos. Visual kei groups often dress in feminine clothing: Victorian dresses and other gender bending outfits. Each band has their own theme or time period they draw inspiration from.
The style is pretty open ended. Some look almost like zombies. Other bands like Malice Mizer look more at home in ...
the pillows is an iconic Japanese rock band for many anime fans. They’ve been around since 1989 and introduced many Americans to Japanese music.
They are best known for their work with Gainax in 1999…you should know what anime I am referring to: FLCL. (That’s pronounced Fooly Cooly). FLCL is a wacked out science fiction, surreal comedy that has giant robots, the pillows constantly rocking out in the background,a Vespa scooter, and a Pirate King.
the pillows produced 2 new songs for FLCL: “Ride on the Shooting Star” and “I Think I Can.”
Take a watch:
Ride on Shooting Star
I Think I Can
Their sound is varied and can loosely be called punk by American classification. They remind me of Green Day with their rhythm. Minus the angst. They sound very American; there are rarely sounds we consider Asian…although I am in danger of stereotyping Asian music. the pillows broke many of those stereotypes when ...
L’Arc~en~Ciel ( The Rainbow in French) is a Japanese rock band that formed back in 1991. The band has seen many changes across its long career: it has changed its bassist and drummer, but the core has remained the same.
L’Arc~en~Ciel is operatic with their sound. Instrumentals are excellently dark and dramatic. Hyde’s (the lead singer) vocals are top notch. Hyde’s notes are crisp and resonate well with the punchy rock beats. The band has a metallic ring to them that seems to come up from a dark alley. Their musical cloth is varied and richly detailed. That isn’t the say everything they do is dark rock. Some of their tunes are pretty upbeat and hopeful.
Their rhythms are very American. They are not as hard as Disturbed or Metallica but you can feel the similarities. Some of L’Arc~en~Ciel performances remind me of the over-the-top 80′s hair metal bands…only without the hair ...
Posted in Music
Tagged anime music
Halcali is an all female pop and hip-hop duo from Tokyo. Halca and Yucali have excellent harmony but are too “bubblegum” for my taste. Their album Halcali Bacon was the first album from an all female group to top Japan’s Oricon charts. The duo is remarkably flexible; they have been able to change with the tides of Japan’s teen pop preferences.
Their songs are obviously geared toward a teenage audience. Their rhythms are very similar to American teen idols, and they are infectious. Their songs often have a happy-go-lucky feel to them. They also have a self parody aspect to them. Halcali isn’t above making fun of themselves; a quality every successful artist needs.
They have produced many theme songs for anime such as “Marching March” for Pokemon Sunday, and “Tip Taps Tip” for anime Eureka Seven. “Tip Taps Tip” is one of their few songs I enjoy. It’s hopeful poppy beat ...
High and Mighty Color started as a Metallica cover band and worked their way up to fame until they broke apart in 2010. Honestly, I didn’t know Japan had Metallica cover bands. The band started in Okinawa like many other bands. American and Japanese music traditions mix and swirl on that island apparently. (Perhaps to Japan’s misfortune?)
I’m just kidding. High and Mighty Color was a really good band. I was sorry to see them break up. The lead vocalist, Makii, had an ethereal angelic voice that contrasted beautifully with the raw metal instrumentals and vocals of the band and Yuusuke. I don’t much care for scream-metal but this band had a nice balance on their albums. The way Makii, and later her replacement Halca, sang nicely offset what I normally find annoying about metal bands.
http://media.japanpowered.com/videos/music/high-and-mighty-color/Ichirin-no-Hana.flv Ichirin no Hana, the 3rd opening theme for Bleach.
The band does remind me of Metallica ...
Home Made Kazoku ( in English it’s “Home Made Family”) is a feel-good hip hop group from Japan. Now normally I can’t stand hip-hop, but this group has uplifting beats and lyrics that makes me smile. The group isn’t anywhere close to the American (c)rap that just talks about ehem “bitches, bling, and guns.”
Home Made Kazoku’s trio, Micro, Kuro, and DJ U-Ichi, grew up in the United States before moving to Japan. Their music is upbeat and generally pretty happy sounding. Some of it is down right funny like the line from the song ZokuZokool: “Who are you gonna call? Girl Hunters!” The trio uses a lot of English in their works.
http://media.japanpowered.com/videos/music/home-made-kazoku/thank-you.flv Thank You!! The second ending theme for Bleach
The trio has produced many theme songs for anime. Among them is “Shonen Heart” for Eureka Seven: Psalms of Planets, “Thank You!!” the seconding ending theme for Bleach, and “No Rain ...