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So, it’s been a while since we visited the world of Japanese pop-rock/hardcore fusion, so to make up for lost time we’re going to cover two bands today. These two bands are kind of similar to Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas which I covered before, so if you enjoyed them there’s a decent chance you’ll like one of these two bands as well. And if you haven’t already checked out Fear, and Loathing, I’m disappointed. Go ahead and do it now.

SiM

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I couldn’t really find much information about SiM, but what I do know is that their name stands for Silence iz Mine (clever and edgy) and they’re a punk-rock/ska-band formed in Shonan, Kanagawa, Japan. Here’s a link to their Last.fm page. Also the above song is hands down my favorite song by them.

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This one is a bit more toned down than the last one, and I think you can definitely feel their ska influences here a bit more. Maybe. Also have you noticed how the bassist dances in each video? He’s pretty talented at the dancing. And by talented I mean entertaining. They dance in a fun manner. I enjoy it.

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Small children be warned: he says a naughty word in this song! Oh no! Anyway, this song is pretty good too. Not quite as awesome as the first video by them in my opinion, but still pretty solid nonetheless. Did you enjoy it?

New Breed

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Based in and spawned by the underground industrial-metal scene of Tokyo, Japan, New Breed’s music is a mixture of catchy metal riffs and techno tunes. Here’s a link to their Last.fm page if you’re interested. They’re definitely a bit auto-tune heavy, so I’m sorry if that’s not your bag.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TVZOxkIIxI’]

They sound a little bit like a slightly edgier Japanese Panic at the Disco here, but I like the song regardless (I don’t like Panic at the Disco). No screaming in this one, which is a bit of a letdown, but oh well, it’s still a pretty good song. Definitely a bit more upbeat and happy feeling than the other two.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Kw3RnSL-8′]

“We want to continue making music that will change the Japanese music scene someday. We don’t want to limit ourselves to Japan anymore,” says lead vocalist, Toyo, “and we hope that our music will someday find itself in the hands of music lovers around the globe.” This is probably the reason they, and many other bands, choose to sing in English instead of their native tongue.

Japanese Bands Singing in English

Singing in English is like ganguro – not always a good idea.

There are some bands that I don’t think should be singing in English. When their accents are so poor or their music in general is bad, I think they should stick to the language they know. There are a lot of Japanese bands that I really enjoy that sing in English. Boom Boom Satellites sings in English like all the time, and most often I can’t really understand what they’re singing but the music is so awesome that I don’t really care.

But probably the reason so many Japanese bands get into singing in English is for that global appeal. So many people speak and understand English so it makes sense for them to sing in English to appeal to everyone. However, this can also turn people off as people really interested in the Japanese language can tend to be disappointed when Japanese bands didn’t actually sing in Japanese. I know I’ve felt that way before.

But like I said, some bands can get away with it. I believe that both SiM and New Breed are such bands. If they were singing in Japanese I doubt I’d like them any better than I do now. Have you ever felt this way about Japanese bands singing in English? Like I said, it really only irks me when the singer’s voice/accent is atrociously annoying, or the music itself is junk.

ヽ(*・ω・)ノ

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And here’s another Perfume PV because, well, I love Perfume. Enjoy!


So tell me, what did you think of SiM and New Breed? Have you heard of them before? Which one did you like better? Does it bother you when Japanese bands sing in English or do you not really care? Let us know in the comments!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexandra-Franco/896075564 Alexandra Franco

    I had heard of SiM, they are pretty good. New Breed is somehting definetly worth looking into. It is a bit of a let down when you are trying to find a good japanese rock band to practice japanese and you find these awesome bands, but in english. Cant complain though, gotta love ‘em.

  • ainulm

    radwimps is a great band that sings in english sometimes. with great accent and decent grammar. the lyrics in their english songs are nothing compared to their japanese ones though. radwimps rules!

  • Joey

    Another band which sings in (mostly) English is [Champagne], and I think they have this great britrock Oasis-knockoff sound that you can’t really find in the Japanese music scene. The lead singer went to an international school in Libya for a period, so his accent is sorta there, but the lyrics (grammar-wise) leave much to be desired sometimes :P

  • Aquariia

    I don’t mind listening Japanese bands in english. I’ve never heard about SiM and New Bread but I like BEAT CRUSADERS.

  • ZXNova

    I really don’t care if Japanese bands sing in English. Hey some Americans sing songs in Spanish, and possibly vice versa. It’s your band, sing however you want (as long as it sounds good).

  • Elisabet

    I was just about to mention radwimps. they are awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lissinwonderland Alice Donoghue

    SiM are friggin’ awesome!

  • Dy~

    Woot! We finally got to SiM (been following for awhile and I love the reggae vibe they put in some of their music); I don’t really mind if foreign bands are singing in English or whatever language they happen to think fits best – a band that had a great English singer was Ellegarden (mostly because the singer/guitarist lived and worked in the USA for awhile) think of them as the Japanese Blink182. I’ve also noticed ONE OK ROCK’s vocalist getting better with English the more they put out music. I wish I could find more of White Ash though, it’s just something about them I liked when I accidentally found this video (love the chorus) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5RmmIS1AIQ . Anyways I won’t go on for much longer, but I’m kinda surprised you didn’t mention FACT when you’re doing these post-hardcore bands.

  • Jamie

    ELLEGARDEN almost universally sang in English and the fans ate it up, many even becoming interested in what the lyrics meant. Takeshi had fantastic english from a previous job in SF. Great music if you’ve never heard it.

  • Dy~

    Also wanted to add, SiM may be a 3 piece band but have a dedicated session musician that plays with them at concerts (don’t know/couldn’t find his name, but it’s the same guy at every live show I’ve seen)

  • Dy~

    Ok last edit, I swear – A lot of SiM’s catalogue actually sounds more like “Jack B.” (chorus wise) – if you want to get a mashup of almost everything they do “Punk Rock iz Coming” is the song to go to

  • jospiedr

    Coldrain and FADE are two more bands that also sing in English. FADE also did an amazing cover of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on the Prayer. These bands also sing with near perfect English, too. Check them out.

  • https://www.facebook.com/philipphilipphiliphilipphilip Philip Warren

    I HATED SAMT when I first heard it, but now I love it!

  • Pepper_the_Sgt

    +1 for Radwimps. They’re just so fantastic. I generally prefer their Japanese stuff, though. The English stuff seems to lean a little towards ballad-type tunes.

  • Pepper_the_Sgt

    Shiina Ringo’s English stuff can be great. She has an accent, but it comes across as pleasantly exotic. I can’t think of her using any strange grammar or katakana-like English. She does a sick cover of “The Lady is a Tramp” (with her rock band “Tokyo Jihen”).

    Another good one is Pizzicato Five. They’re classic and just have such good grooves. They sometimes sing in English and they sound fine. Also, I’d like to say again that Radwimps is fantastic.

  • The_Flying_One

    Nice! I love SiM. Bet you’d also like coldrain. Mah was a guest vocalist for coldrain’s “The Maze”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC9OeUl4RRk
    ONE OK ROCK also have songs completely in English.

  • DenjinJ

    SiM is alright. They have a tight sound. New Breed… I was disappointed to read that it was from the industrial metal scene and has a mix of metal and techno when it sounds like synthpop to me.

    Another Japanese band that does a lot of English songs is “FAKE?”. The singer/songwriter Ken Lloyd is half-Japanese and uses whichever language suits a song when he writes it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/becki.cox Becki Cox

    Sads released a full album in English back in 2001 Called the rose god gave me, pretty cool album kiyoharus accent is thick but I still love it. Definitely my fav album.

  • http://www.facebook.com/psychomelody Jeremy Scoville Doe

    These are awesome. I have a friend that likes SiM but I never heard their music. The singer for the Mugwumps here in Japan sings mostly in English. I talked with him on Twitter and he lived in the UK when he was younger. I’ve seen them live and they’re a lot of fun.

  • piderman

    Well it’s English, but I don’t know if I’d call it singing…

  • DAVIDPD

    I actually do not mind if foreign bands sing in English. I am always surprised at how they (mostly) tend to sound American when they do. PERFUME ^0^’

  • http://twitter.com/sanako_glumpf さなこ

    abingdon boys school has some songs in japanese and some in english, hardly ever mixed and takanori nishikawa’s, the vocalist, pronounciation is pretty good . i truly recommend them and their music. every song is dramatic and should be used in a movie trailer especially ‘ via dolorosa’and ‘ lost reason ‘!

  • Philco

    Whether they sing in english or japanese, it doesn’t matter, it still sounds awesome :D But half of the time the vocalists’ accents are so strong that you can’t understand what they’re saying anyway… so maybe they might as well just stick to the Japanese lyrics.

  • lychalis

    ok SiM’s bassist is awesome – although I’m not sure he can actually play like that XD

  • John

    His dancing is my favorite.

  • lychalis

    yup ^_^ the bassist for madina lake (from chicago this time) is sometimes just as energetic, in concerts even, so maybe I’m wrong and SiM’s bassist is just a BEAST at coordination :D

  • Dy~

    He can actually dance and play like that live – I saw some concert footage – I wish I had that coordination while playing XD

  • FoxiBiri

    Moumoon’s accent is really good ^^
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezynDdiCcX4

  • John

    Haha that’s awesome.

  • Dy~

    found some SiM concert footage, so yes SIN (the bassist) can do that dance live, also on a side note their first official concert dvd is being released – details on their band website sxixm.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqkMHsAYWg8&feature=g-vrec

  • TeamMIZUKINGDOM

    ONE OK ROCK is the first band I think off when it comes to Japanese band singing in English. Their earlier work ‘Wherever You Are’ is like 90% EngRish(but better than the type you hear from Visual Kei bands). But in their more recent songs, the Engrish is almost gone and not very noticeable. The vocalist actually sounds like he can speak some English instead of throwing some random words in.

  • lychalis

    well then I stand corrected :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000013520588 Deian Isac

    Interesting article, but you didn’t mention Pay money To my Pain? It’s one of the first bands who started to sing in English. The singer K even studies English in the US.

  • Chester

    Yeah, there’s something really cool about Perfume. I honestly just don’t know what I like about them, but they seem really genuine when they’re on TV. That’s rare, especially here in Japan where almost every person on TV is famous just for being famous.

  • http://mistersanity.blogspot.com Jonadab

    Personally, I feel that there’s a lot to be said for singing in more than one language, in the same song.

    There are several different ways to do this. You can do code switching. You can alternate back and forth, like Via Dolorosa. My favorite, however, is to have multiple singing parts going at the same time, interacting with one another both contrapuntally and lyrically.

  • Jon

    Galneryus has some decent music, too. They even have a Wikipedia page (in English, too!). Some of their songs are in English as well. One of my favorite songs by them is ‘Struggle for the Freedom Flag’.

  • The Lost Samurai

    Have you heard of “One OK Rock”?

  • Hinoema

    What, no mention of Monoral? I’m shocked!!!

  • CamnJB

    I think you’ll find you missed the best one….CROSSFAITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seen them live twice, they’re awesome!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDRRPCdlF0I

  • Tony

    I think Four Get Me A Nots is a really great Japanese band which sings in semi-nonsense English. I think you’d really like them; they are like melodic punk-pop, with female and male singers. Really bad ass in my opinion
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H1CRqrnnzg

  • Tony

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgrPTnY4JIE
    Another really good music video of their’s

  • o6ina

    Recently I’ve heard DEATHGAZE’s ‘The End’ and it has a great sound, only after listening for a second time I realized it is not in japanese, but probably in english. I’ve checked and, yeah, it was in english, but without subs I barely recognoze three words. I don’t know why is that: is it because of the japanese way of studying eigo, or becuse the bands just don’t know the language that well? Anywas, I definately prefer them singing in japanese. ONE OK ROCK’s english is…OK, but to me Monoral are better. 10-feet are pretty good, too.

  • xDLN8

    I disagree with Japanese bands sticking to their native language when it comes to singing/songwriting.Completely.
    I’m not saying that there’s so much of a language barrier but by singing in a language that not only attracts Japanese fans, it makes us english speaking fans more compelled. In addition it liberates and gives them more opportunity to have a shot on an international stage. Ever heard of coldrain? They are from the same comp. as SiM (Gilsound works) and are really close to going international. They have recorded in NJ, USA twice now. Nonetheless, their singer; Masato has the advantage of non-hindering accent because he is also half-American. Along with Fear and loathing, crossfaith, GUNDOG, Pay money to my pain and many more bands who sing solely in English have created an entirely new branch of ‘Japanese’-Rock. TL;DR : ENGLISH SINGING JAPANESE BANDS ROCK!

  • Fanaticreader

    Fade is band that sing almost all of their songs in English