Alright, it’s not really a competition. Even as a rock music fan, I can admit to listening to the occasional K-pop track. But pinning people against each other gets the clicks and I gotta be honest — I could use some.
K-pop is certainly sweeping the globe, with groups like BTS and EXO quickly becoming household names, even in English-speaking countries, and it’s clear to see why. The music is catchy, the videos are elaborately choreographed, and the personalities are electric.
However, for the fifth day of our 31 Days of Songs challenge, we’re looking to their neighbors to the East in hopes of bringing another international genre to light in America.
Day 5: J-Rock > K-Pop
“Clock Strikes” by ONE OK ROCK
Formed in 2005, ONE OK ROCK takes inspiration from bands like Linkin Park and Good Charlotte to produce music ranging from emo to alt rock to pop-punk. So many of their songs are great, but today we’re looking at one of the first of theirs I heard, and the one that made me a fan to this day: “Clock Strikes” off their 2013 album Jinsei×Boku=.
The music video alone screams of 2000s emo post-hardcore. If you’re not careful, you might think you’ve stumbled upon unreleased My Chemical Romance footage from the Sweet Cheers For Sweet Revenge era.
In fact, when I hear the chorus, I feel like I’m back listening to 2006 rock radio, which, honestly, is a huge compliment.
With lyrics alternating between English and Japanese, you may not be able to understand everything sung, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a shot. And soon, you might not even have a choice in the matter. ONE OK ROCK is creeping into American airwaves thanks to a record deal with Fueled By Ramen, and tours with bands like Waterparks and All Time Low. They’re also no stranger to industry staple English-language publications Alternative Press and Rock Sound.
And Alt Echo. Can’t forget that one.
Some fans are quick to point out that ONE OK ROCK has gone more toward the pop end of the spectrum with their most recent album, Eye of the Storm, but even if they’re right, it’s still incredibly well done. “Wasted Nights” has been stuck in my head for months.
If you love good music, you’ll love ONE OK ROCK. It’s as simple as that.
What’s your favorite ONE OK ROCK song? Got a different J-rock band you think deserves more light? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image courtesy of Pjkr via Wikimedia.
Welcome to Alternative Echo’s “31 Days of Songs.” For the entirety of October, we will be tackling a different theme each day in an effort to spread appreciation for some of our favorite tracks. Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action.