Three Japanese releases stood out for me last year.
3) Te’ came out with their third album last year. They still rock real hard, but the new influences seeping into the sound needs some getting used to. The dance-rock drumming? Too much playful experimentation? If you want an intro to the awesomeness of Te’, get the second album called it is a thought to try to “sing” the realistic sound from the deeply resonated world.
2) School Food Punishment surprised me with their Riff-rain mini-album coming out around December last year, and it was a treat hearing my favorite pop-rock act I liken to our own Up Dharma Down, albeit poppier and less contemplative. The record boasts of confidence not found in previous records, and though I wouldn’t call the musicianship superlative, it was apt. Again, vocalist Yumi Uchimura remains astounding.
1) My top Japanese release from last year was a first-song-to-last-song must-listen, and perfect for long commutes: Miaou‘s All Around Us. This time you hear the trio rock out (compared to previous efforts), but still dish out their electro + post-rock ditties that are never boring.