Marty Friedman: Top 10 Japanese Bands You Should Check Out

"It will go from the happiest of happy to the darkest of dark, from zero to sixty, in ten seconds."

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Marty Friedman: Top 10 Japanese Bands You Should Check Out

Marty Friedman recently sat down with Team Rock to jot down 10 of his favorite rock acts from Japan.

You can check out the man's picks below, consult the source for full commentary.

Maximum the Hormone

"It will go from the happiest of happy to the darkest of dark, from zero to sixty, in ten seconds."
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"Their music is very reminiscent of Japanese folk music, but done in an extremely heavy and dark context."
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"The most beautiful noise I've ever heard."
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Bull Zeichen 88

"Super high energy, chops oriented, visual kei band."
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"Ultra high energy, very modern hardcore-metal band."
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"It's like a modern version of Ministry, but with much more well developed choruses in the songs."
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"Similar to the group I mentioned before, Merry - but they might be a little bit more on the heavy side and less on the twin guitar side."
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"She's a female bass player and singer, and she plays in my solo band, but she also has her own band, which there is no guitar in it - it's just herself and a drummer."
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Maneki Kecha

"A girl group, a singing group - they don't play any instruments or anything - but their arrangements are so over the top and they're super, super cute."
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Momoiro Clover Z

"I would have to go for another idol group, Momoiro Clover Z, who I have done a lot of work with - I've played with in concert and recorded with. It's just a super musical, adventurous, deep, exciting, colorful, extravagant unit."
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46 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I would have expected Versailles, Dir en grey, or at least some X Japan. Nonetheless, solid list.
    I think he recommended only younger bands, or he'd have recommended Scanch for sure since he and Rolly Teranishi are friends. Scanch are great - like Led Zeppelin and Queen.
    I mean Dir En Grey and X Japan don't really need that much in terms of promo, they're set and have quite long legacies. That be like saying to a foreigner "if you want to start exploring American metal, listen to Metallica!"
    If anybody's into Maximum the Hormone, I recommend the album Bu-ikikaesu. It's not a perfect album, but it's one that I personally think doesn't really have any honestly bad songs.
    I fucking love Maximum the Hormone. They're one of my favorite bands. Rokkinpo Goroshi, BuikkiKaesu, and Yoshu Fukushu are all amazing albums. The band existed before that, but they didn't sound anything like they do now. Their current sound started to form when Ryo, the guitarist/singer/brother of the drummer joined the band. Rokkinpo Goroshi was the first album they released under the current lineup and style. 
    Maximum the Hormone are amazing. They're like... Dillinger Escape Plan meets RHCP meets Clutch meets random J-pop. Absolutely check them out if you haven't. Other Japanese bands worth checking out, some of which are inactive; - The Cabs - Church of Misery - Dir en Grey - The Pillows - L'Arc en Ciel - The Seatbelts
    MUCC and Maximum The Hormone are awesome. I saw MUCC years ago with Atreyu and they were the first band I saw live, who I had never heard of, that I bought their album right there and then.
    Where's AKB48? Also: Marty don't want to admit he frequents maid cafes in Shinjuku.
    MurphySanders7 · Sep 01, 2017 05:44 AM
    open mind? I dont like most of those bands but u gotta give some credit to them. They change so much theres gotta be a bit of something everyone should dig. Maybe if we try to understand them we could see the concept their going besides nu anime randomness
    Mono are awesome. If anyone likes Voivod or Primus, the band Doom are also awesome. Fretless bass, weird, discordant riffs mixed with some punk rock and thrash.
    every single song reminds me of an anime intro... nice shit! 
    Kiyoshi has the MOST UNORIGINAL songs EVER. All of her bass lines have already been heard, all of her melodies and chords progressions are tropes of JPOP. Most dispensable artist of the list. Also, stop saying "female+instrument" as a selling point. Nobody says "Marty Friedman, the male guitar player".
    Gesu No Kiwami Otome are a seriously talented Japanese artsy/prog band. Imagine if Spock's beard grew up in Tokyo. 
    If you like instrumentals, LINE is pretty good. Love their song "Echolocation" Can't find it on Youtube for whatever reason, but I have found it on Spotify