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J-Rock 1 back...
So since I came to Japan I've been looking for good J-Pop (Japanese Pop) and in particular J-Rock (Japanese Rock) bands, from checking the charts to stopping and looking at street acts (street acts are done pretty much strictly for publicity or cd sales here in Japan, you hardly ever see someone just asking for money).

Here's the ones I'm listening to right now (*=J-Pop):

ナイトメア (Nightmare)
[pic2]
A visual-kei band, so their appearance is...interesting. But the songs are great. リビド is an amazing album from start to finish.

マキシマムザホルモン (Maximum the Hormone)
[pic3]
A little heavier than I'm used to but their combination of heavy stuff and nice melodies is something I've never heard before, and a bunch of their songs are very catchy. I love Zetsubou Biri.

VIAGRADE
[pic4]
Saw this promising new band performing at Station Square in Shinjuku. Maybe not completely original, but great anyway. A little like Nightmare, but the guitar solos may even be cooler. Not sure if they realise their name sounds like some kind of fizzy drink containing viagra.

the brilliant green
[pic5]
Just started listening very recently. The only band here with a female lead singer, and also slightly softer than the others but their recent single "Ash Like Snow" is great.

Asparagus
[pic6]
Check out their latest album Mont Blanc.

Gackt
[pic7]
Get over Gackt's slightly unusual singing technique and there's a bunch of amazing songs to be heard. He's a guy.

Ellegarden
[pic8]
From what I can tell they sing pretty much only in English. Clearly influenced by bands like sum 21, but still a nice band.

Genki Rockets*
[pic9]
I don't think I'm necessarily the target audience, but good when you need happy music after a long day.

There's previews of all these band available on the Japanese iTunes.

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