Style: Japanese Rock
These bands ain’t your pretty boy J-Pop stars. No sir. This is American garage rock sung in phonetic English and smatterings of Japanese. Their look and style is taken from American rock-a-billy and English punk with their own purely Japanese twist on things.
Thee Michelle Gun Elephant – Formed in 1991 in Tokyo and disbanded in 2003. They adopted their unusual name when they mispronounced the name of a major influence – English punk band The Damned’s LP Machine Gun Etiquette. The band didn’t release an LP outside of Japan until 2000’s Gear Blues – to no real success. But goddamnit they look cool
Guitar Wolf – Power trio formed in Nagasaki in 1987. Blending fast punk/garage rock with heavy feedback, rock-a-billy and Ramones style singing Guitar Wolf is arguably the most successful outside of Japan. Band members are Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf. Heavy on the leather and pompadours, they do look good. They also starred in B-Movie zombie freakout “Wild Zero”
Boris – 3 piece experimental rockers formed in 1997 and still going strong, relasing 2 LPs simultaneously in the US a just few months ago. Refusing to be pigeon-holed Boris has released albums of pure drone, psych, noise rock, ambient and even pop. An interesting band – they opened for Nine Inch Nails on the 2008 Lights in the Sky tour.