To me, if rock music is not dead in America, it's on life support. There are good bands out there, but they are too good for MTV. Even then, you have to have friends who are into their music in order to find better acts. That's how I found out about Tsunami Bomb.
However, being sick of listening to everything from whiny emo music to mediocre death metal that drones on the same beat, I decided to diversify and listen to something new and discovered some rare gems. The lyrics to the following songs are not in English. In fact, I don't know what the hell they are singing about half the time. I can tell you, though, that they are artists and rebels. They don't need synthesizers and photo ops in People magazine. And most importantly, they can rock out!
Song: Corrupted Meaning
GISM: I listened to Japanese classical music, and I even heard a few saccharine J-pop songs from anime. So I was also surprised that there was a thing called Japanese punk. When I first heard these guys, there was one thought that ran through my mind: They make Rage Against the Machine look like Sesame Street. Sure, the lead singer Sakevi's lyrics are in Engrish, but if you ever read his biography you will know not to mess with that guy. Randy Uchida was a very underrated guitarist. That dude can go from zero to awesome in 10 seconds. Plus, their drummer is named Ironfist Tatsushima. How badass is that?
Cobras: I am no Oi! fan, but once I came across these guys, I feel like I need to drop my preppy look. The lead singer Yosu-ko is nuts, if you can't tell already. It looks like fun dressing like a punk and walking around the Ginza district while scaring old people and little children.
Song: Dream Return to Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty: What do you get when you mix 7th century poetry, some Chinese instruments, and the mojo of Led Zeppelin? Tang Dynasty, that's what! Although they are not the most famous band in China, they are the most popular in the rock crowd. You get Ding Wu wailing like Robert Plant, Chen Lei ripping it up like Robert Plant, and even Zhao Nian going out like Bonzo. They aren't just any high energy band, they're an epic high energy band.
Song: Wu Yi Suo You/Nothing To My Name
Cui Jian: He is considered the father of rock music in China. When China finally opened up to the West, he was exposed to various genres such as punk, metal, and even folk music. His songs touched the disaffected youth of the Post-Mao generation so much that his music was banned for a long time. Still, his songs aged well and still speak for those who fight on.
Song: Gruppa Kovi/Blood Type
Viktor Tsoi/Kino: When I was reading up on Cui Jian, I came across Viktor Tsoi. I don't know much about him, his band Kino, or the Soviet rock scene. He came to prominence when the USSR still had a ban on any form of rock music. This is especially true since his themes dealt with idle youth living under an oppressive system. I don't know any Russian, but I can understand his cynicism and appreciate the hard riffs behind his music.
What are some of your favorite bands that no one knows about?
I'm still going through your list. Rock n Roll can still be found in bands like Black Label Society and Airbourne.
The first song sounds like black metal on top of rock n roll riffs. And I can't agree these bands should be famous. You don't want them to be famous! Metal is meant to be underground and that's how it should stay. The best bands don't give a shit about fame and money.
I listen to a lot of progressive black/death/folk/power metal. The *progressive* aspect keeps it interesting but it's still metal at the core. Kalisia is a great progressive death metal band that no one has heard of.
Candy Hearts is a young bunch and probably the best pop punk band I've heard in years. If there was any sense of justice in the world, Paramore would be a small name opening band for them and Avril Lavgine would cover their songs on her YouTube channel. You can legitimately download their album for free here.
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