Best Japanese Song: Electric Eel Shock "Rock & Roll Can Rescue the World"

With its rigorously drilled "idol" groups, "cute" tone-deaf singers, rampant cross-media marketing, and questionable music charts, the Japanese music scene can sometimes seem a particularly loveless and Orwellian place. Anyone aiming for the freedom and joie de vivre normally associated with rock 'n' roll would be well advised to follow the trail blazed by Electric Eel Shock.

In tune with the real spirit of rock, the three-piece from Osaka spend more of their time touring grungy venues in Europe and America in a beat-up jalopy than hanging around the offices of Tokyo management companies, practicing their bows and keigo for an appearance on Music Station. This is reflected in their road-tested version of old school '80s hard rock, which comes with wit, "interrigible" English lyrics, and a real sense of the lads enjoying themselves. Rock & Roll Can Rescue the World from 1999 extends the personal epiphany they have found through garage metal into a message of global hope via some fantastic riffing, searing Eddie Van Halen-style breaks, and a strategically placed burp. Enjoy!

Colin Liddell

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