In the US we tend to think that our HC is superior to HC in all other nations. Many Americans discount bands form Europe, Japan, or any other country other than the US. But over the years there have been many great bands from other Continents. Today I am going to focus on bands from Japan and introduce you to some bands you may have heard of, and others you may have never heard of. I am going to focus more on the bands which have a modern or NYHC sound. Sure, there are many thrash bands (Lip Cream, etc, etc) which are well known, but many of the bands I am mentioning have a different style and sound which is overlooked in the US for the most part.
NUMB this is Tokyo's longest running and most respected HC band. Starting in the mid 90's, NUMB has held it down in Tokyo and is the premiere HC band. They play a heavy 90's type NYHC sound (think Merauder). Numb has shared the stage with mnay American HC legends over the years. Singer SENTA is well known for his collection of HC shirts... one of the biggest in the world, you name it, he's got it. I have seen magazines which feature him and his shirt collection. I got a book of photography which features fliers form Numb's history, as well as top notch live photography from their shows which is a great documentary book that chronicles the band's music, legacy, and impact on the Japanese scene and even art (their artwork is always top notch). The book is called TIME HAS COME, if you can get a copy, it is a wonderful piece of HC nostalgia which will give those unfamiliar a great look into the world of Japanese HC.
Here's a video which is a preview of the NUMB THC ART BOOK mentioned.
TJ MAXX (aka TERMINAL JUSTICE MAXX) is another of Japan's oldest and most respected HC bands, starting in the early/mid 90's. A staple of Japanese HC. They play a traditional heavy NYHC sound with some more skinhead aspects mixed in some of the material. To Americans the name may sound silly, but their material and legacy speaks for itself.
TJ MAXX'S MYSPACE
TJ MAXX "HARDER THAN THE CORE" VIDEO
CREEPOUT is Japan's Holy Terror inspired band. Kunhide (aka Japanese Clevelander) is credited with "bringing Cleveland to Japan". Heavily influenced by Integrity and One Life Crew as far as sound goes. They have come to the US to play a few shows the past 2 years and have made an impression on all who have seen them. For those who are into the Clevo sound, this is a band which has more influence musically form OLC than Integ, but still keeps that Holy Terror vibe.
CREEPOUT "MURDARIO STOMP/CREEPOUT" LIVE VIDEO
ETERNAL B is a band out of Tokyo with a really raw early MADBALL/AF mixed with BREAKDOWN feel. Lots of great artwork too... really mixes modern hip hop type stuff w/ traditional NYHC/skinhead imagery to create some great stuff. I was floored when I was given a copy of their LP. Their sound is really angry and raw. This is one of my favorite bands from Japan.
Eternal B's My Space
ETERNAL B LIVE
There are MANY other great bands from Japan. I only highlighted a few. There are bands that p;lay super heavy beatdown HC like DOMINATE and ROCKRIMAZ. There are other traditional sounding bands like GORILLA CROWZ, STILL YOU ALIVE, FACECARZ, LOYAL TO THE GRAVE and many many more bands which are working and playing hard buillding and supporting their scenes in their home towns. Please check out these bands as well as bands form other countries and continents. Like Raybeez sd "UNITED: WORLDWIDE!"