20 Greatest J-Rock Songs – Part 1

Welcome to the ultimate J-Rock playlist~
Part 1: #20 – 11

~Three years ago, before K-pop and J-pop would soon start to slowly conquer my ipod, I was into some pretty heavy stuff. American Rock, Screamo, Metal, you name it. Soon I was introduced to Dir En Grey, and wanting to expand my tastes, I ended up dwelling deeper into J-rock then I ever thought I would. While at the moment K-pop has consumed my soul, I have never forgotten my roots! I love J-rock. I actually CRAVE it at times when auto-tune and synthetic beats can’t fill that hole in my heart where the members actually PLAY and MAKE their own music. I need killer guitar solos, a bass line so deep it pulsates in my desk, and occasionally, those scratchy screams only rock vocalists can give me.

Yet trying to get back into J-rock is hard when K-pop has literally wrapped its pop lasso around my brain. It takes a month’s worth of no new releases and a particular state of mind to set me free for a while. Recently however, in my English class, we’ve been listening to what my teacher dubs as his top ten greatest American rock songs of all time. He even encouraged to try and write our own lists, at which I instantly began scribbling down J-rock bands in my notebook. After two weeks of naming candidates, then spending three hours to actually pull it together, I managed to create my own top TWENTY greatest Japanese rock songs list; twenty because I honestly couldn’t pick just ten, and not of ‘all time’ since I know there are some pretty decent 90’s J-rock bands out there that I haven’t heard of.

Criteria~
Of course, I should establish the criteria I based my choices on, so here other reasons besides personal attachment to which I chose some of these songs:

  • Gorgeous music – I’m talking about amazing guitar solos, drums solos, and the like. Since I don’t understand Japanese, my ears are more in-tuned to listening, and focusing, on the actual music (and singer’s voice) instead of focusing on the meaning of the song, so gorgeous music is definitely, and majorly, required.
  • Strictly Japanese rock! – No artificial sounds, but other instrumentals like pianos, saxophones are all right.
  • A Bass rhythm/solo that can get caught in your throat – Literally. Or, so deep it rattles your desk and you can feel it pulsating through.
  • Lyrics – Though I am not too big on lyrics, it does give a song a better chance of being bumped up if I can relate to the lyrics, or absolutely love the lyrics.
  • Slow or fast-paced – A lot of slow J-Rock songs are the best, so I didn’t care for my list  to be just strictly for songs that have that head-banging and rocking out feel. I like songs that mesmerize me~.

With that, let’s get this countdown ON~

20. Andromemorphosise – Plastic Tree

I’m not a huge fan of Plastic Tree, but I do enjoy a lot of their songs, two of which are on this list, counting this one. Running a spam of a little over eight minutes, Andromemorphise starts off really slow and simple with just a guitar and singer Ryuutaro’s lovely monotone voice. Yet as the song continues on, it starts to go up and down, giving full blasts of the whole band at certain points, which always manages to send chills through me. What ended up bumping the song onto my list however was the gorgeous guitar towards the end of the song, slowly fading as it returns back to its slow-paced beginning.

 

19. Sakasama Bridge (Upside Down Bridge) – Suneohair

At first, I wasn’t sure if this could be counted as Jrock, but I ended up slipping it in here. Anyways, I, of course, fell in love with the song from watching Arakawa Under the Bridge. To me, Sakasama Bridge definitely seems like a summer song with its hidden fast paced rhythm, still feeling a little lazy to give the song that running-through-the-grass–wildly kind of feel.  Plus Suneohair’s smooth voice is just perfect~.

 

18. Kimi no Kirei ni Kizuite Okura (Please Realize that You’re Beautiful) – Sambomaster

The question for this is how can I not add the opening to Kuragehime to my list? While it isn’t all extremely rock-ish, it’s still got nice guitar, and the lyrics are lovely, even if its gives a pretty simple and cliché message.

 

17.  Tengaku (Heaven’s Requiem (?))  – Akiakane

A cover of a Vocaloid song sung by the character Rin Kagamine, I instantly fell for the bass-luscious beginning which then rocks into an explosion of guitars as it heads to the first part of the lyrics. I love all this woman’s covers of Vocaloid songs, but this particular song had the better instrumentals to me, and the vocals sounded a bit smoother compared to Bye Bye Baby, Rolling Girl, and Lost Story.

 

16. Senkou Shoujo (Flash Girl) – Tokyo Jihen

I’ll say this before I continue on: I believe Tokyo Jihen is one of the greatest Japanese rock bands out there. It’s not only because Shiina Ringo, the band’s front woman, is also one of the greatest Japanese singer/songwriters of all time, but because the other talented members manage to create heaps of amazing songs with all sorts of themes and other instrumentals to make their music continuously interesting. It’s why you will see this bands appear another three times on this list. Staring with Senko Shoujo, I find this to be another of those running-free feeling type songs (if that makes any sense). Mainly what put this song on the list were the lyrics which, when you really think about it along with the title, creates a viv, particular scene in my mind; one of the powers of Shiina Ringo’s songwriting.

 

15. UNDERGROUND – HIGH VOLTAGE

I only recently started watching Gurren Lagann, so I’ve barely come across this song.  What managed to place this song on my list almost instantly was its killer bass. I mean, the guitar and drums kick ass as well and I’m incredibly in love with the instrumentals at the chorus part of the song but THAT BASS. THAT BASS! I have no words to describe that feeling that pulsates through me when I hear it.

 

14. THE FINAL – Dir En Grey

I won’t lie, this song to me sounds a little, how do you say… mis-matched? There are certain parts that don’t necessarily flow, yet while I say these things, this song has been my favorite of Dir En Grey’s since back when I first gave them a listen. At the time I was in a really REALLY dark place so the lyrics spoke to me well, but now I focus more on the simple sounding yet gorgeous instrumentals and the tone of Kyo’s voice.

 

13. Taion (Body Tempature) – the GazettE

This is a song I have a lot of trouble explaining as to why I placed this on this list.  It’s not that I have any doubt that it should be on here, I just have a hard time trying to put into comprehensible words how amazing I think this song is without re-using all my same adjectives. The lyrics for one are a big part of why I chose this. If you hadn’t heard, the song is actually a tribute to the tragically murdered girl named Junko Furuta. After reading the gruesome and heartbreaking details of her murder, and then going back over the lyrics, it really left this impression on me that has not once went away.

 

12. Kimaru (To Peak) – Tokyo Jihen

(The video is a live performance which perfectly conveys the feel of the song much better than I could ever explain.) Number two in showing my devotion to Tokyo Jihen. A more slower paced song that manages to sort of explode in the end. I first listened to this song on a semi-cloudy day where I lay on the grass at the park and watched the clouds slightly cover the sky and felt a cold wind start to pick up. Since then I haven’t been able to dissociate this song from that scene or that type of weather. It is indeed a very dreamy song for sky watching with Shiina Ringo’s semi-slurred way of singing it in the beginning. Yet the song ends with a bit of a bang as the instrumentals one by one come into the rhythm, then rise up and go off into a faster pace; the piano surprisingly giving it a lot of depth.

 

11. STEALTH – Abingdon Boys School

I personally love T.M.Revolution’s (Takanori Nishikawa’s) Engrish accent, so I chose the (not-so) English version of JAP instead. I won’t lie; my fangirling for the much-older-than-me-that-it’s-almost-creepy TMR has influenced this decision. But hey, this is a rocking song that really makes you want to get up and jump, dance, head bang, or whatever us rockers like to do. I mean you can’t deny the awesomeness that is the guitars and guitar solo.

~Again, these are all my personal opinions, and are no way set in stone. For me, this is my ultimate Jrock playlist. As for next time, I’ll continue with my top ten. Until then~!

About

A tired, over-dramatic 20 year old college student who likes manga and cheesy Korean boy bands. Prone to succumb to laziness and refuse to work for hours on end.
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38 Responses to “20 Greatest J-Rock Songs – Part 1”

  1. Foshizzel says:

    Sakasama Bridge (Upside Down Bridge) Awesome love me some Arakawa <3

    Tengaku- Not bad! Sounds great xD

    UNDERGROUND – HIGH VOLTAGE- Yesssss great ending song so fun xD plus its TTGL! Such a great anime!

    STEALTH – Abingdon Boys School- YES!! Basura opening right? Awesome hahaha

    Lots of great songs Hoshi! Thanks for sharing

    • Hoshi says:

      ~STEALTH – The Basura opening is actually called JAP, but they re-did the song with English lyrics, which is STEALTH. It’s not the actual translation of the song, but a remake xD
      Underground – YESS I love that TTGL ending song so much, along with the anime (though I have yet to finish it |’D)

  2. umi_no_mizu says:

    ok let me sit here and say FINALLY! someone else has appreciated the awesome-ness that is andromemorphosise ^__^ honestly that made my day =P

    very very nice list =) I love all those songs XD I shall look forward to seeing the other half =D

    • Hoshi says:

      ~When I first listened to that song, it literally blew my mind. I had to sit back and think, “Wow, this is just…gorgeous.” Hahahaha, I’m glad I made your day! xD

      Thanks ^^ I’m excited for the other half myself since it’s my top ten~

  3. Alynn says:

    Mm nice list!
    Love Abingdon Boys School!
    Time to go listen to the songs that I don’t know~ Perfect music to work on cosplay to, haha.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~I absolutely love Abingdon Boys School as well; I’ve not disliked one single song from them x’D

      Awesome! Hope you enjoy~

  4. tdeathx says:

    where is X
    w/o them you cant say it’s j rock

    • Tofu says:

      you do realize this is the 20 to 11 of the top 20 death xD So like, maybe it will be in the top 10 if not THEN that’s when you can ask that question.

  5. Moni Chan says:

    i love Abingdon Boys School and Tokyo Jihen i havent listened to these songs though. i cant help but learn something new on Metanorn

    • Hoshi says:

      ~You have to listen to them *A*
      Hahaha, well, that is our job xD

      • Moni Chan says:

        the songs were amazing u guys make anime fans around the world learn something. its awesome

  6. BlackLagoon187 says:

    Swweeeeettt I can now update my music list
    Thanks for the list and looking forward to part 2 :D

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Awesome, and thanks ^^
      I’m working on Part 2, but the evil villain that is school has kept me from it ;A;

  7. Overcooled says:

    Diru is all the way in the double digits? Blasphemy, girl, you are BLASPHEMOUS.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~NEHHH I KNEW SOMEONE WOULD SAY THAT.
      I’m probably going to get shot since that is the ONLY Dir En Grey song on my list…*runs away*

  8. Krys says:

    I was waiting… so waiting for any post that contains J-Rock.. HAHA! Finally!

    Thank you for sharing, Hoshi! Though I wonder if Ayabie or SID will be in your list. ^^
    Can’t wait for part 2!

    • Hoshi says:

      ~IT HAD TO BE DONE xD
      Unfortunately I wasn’t able to put Ayabie on my list because a lot of their songs have those artificial sounds (which sucks because they’re my second favorite Jrock band ;3;), and I haven’t listened to SID much so ^^;

      • Krys says:

        HAHA!

        Nevermind, I can be very bias about anything to do with J-rock. Gotta spread the love~ Like you said, “It had to be done”

  9. Junko says:

    It’s the ED not OP for Kuragehime >__< But it's also the best song ever, so that's a-okay :D

    • Hoshi says:

      ~WAH! That was a major fail on my part D8
      How can the ultimate Kuragehime fan like me mistake that, orzzz…Oh well, yes, it is a good song<3

  10. Hato-kun says:

    Hooooo, cannot wait to see the top 10…

  11. Tofu says:

    Stealth (or JAP) is a realyl catchy song considering my lil bro had it on reply for 2 weeks after watching Sengoku Basara xD I think it’s alright actually but I wouldn’t put it into my playlist. As for the other songs~

    I really liked Senkou Shoujo and the ED to Kuragehime (of course~) As for the other songs, the more darker songs I didn’t really find appealing (sorry Hoshi~) then the remaining amount were alright~

    They wouldn’t last long on my playist anyways since I’ve got a taste for fluffly rock songs like K-On (if you look at the guitar and bass works, farrr~ you’ll realize how much work you gotta do) xD

    Also I’m into punk music like SUM 41 which is my favourite English band and the ONLY english band I like. Every awesome bass riff is awesome though the song itself is meh (regarding the top 20 to 11)

    I wish to see your top 10 soon Hoshi~ ^^

    • Hato-kun says:

      “Also I’m into punk music like SUM 41 which is my favourite English band and the ONLY english band I like.”

      Canadian…

      • Tofu says:

        english as in speaks english Hato. I know it’s Canadian, why so specific mate~? xD

    • Hoshi says:

      ~EXTREMELY catchy! The first time I heard it I had it on replay for a while myself xD

      LOL I would expect that you wouldn’t like the dark songs; that just isn’t you Tofu~ Now I can imagine those fluffy rock songs XD I’m glad you like Senko Shoujo though!

      Yesss my Top Ten shall be coming soon, if school will let my work on it |’D

  12. Elyon says:

    Ooooh these are all really good songs *o* I like your taste in jrock.

    • Hoshi says:

      ~Glad you like them, and thanks x’D I was worried because I’ve been into Kpop for so long now, I thought I might have lost my touch for Jrock.

  13. Hime says:

    HNNG Abingdon Boys School…

  14. Yvoon says:

    WOOOT!!!

    WOW, what an awesome idea for a post!! XD

    now i have some new songs which i can add to my itunes list!~

    Abingdon Boys School, Suneohair, Sambomaster are great artists!! just LOVE them. well, most of their songs. :)

    GazettE’s a bit…nyeh…

  15. Kyokai says:

    Woooo~! Good stuff, Hoshi. I specifically love Sambomasater, ABS, the GazettE and Dir En Grey. Looking forward to your top 10! xD

  16. pp says:

    what no Bump of chicken love here? :( i’mm sad.

  17. Namika says:

    That was an amazing idea for the editorial!!!! ^O^
    That’s some good stuff you published. Especially, I liked the ED sequence of Kuragehime (as soon as I heard that I downloaded the full version, removed the vocals and recorded a fandub LOL) , loved STEALTH, Senkou Shoujo, Sakasama bridge…… and a couple more of them, I can’t remember the names, and too lazy to double-check >.>

    Can’t wait to see the top-10!!! I think I had an eargasm from all that music *~*

  18. MikADo says:

    Unhappy that certain artists are not on the list, but i’ll be patient and check the top 10 as well :3

    my preference: ABG > the GazettE > Plastic Tree > Tokyo Jihen > High Voltage

    unfortunately, i was not able to get En Grey into my head :P

    awesome post though

  19. Dan-go says:

    abingdon boys school KYAAAAA

  20. Takashi says:

    Core Pride by UVERworld

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