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Rogue Wave

by Blair Mcbride

A powerful flood of change threatens to wash through the Tokyo rock scene courtesy of the upcoming Rogue Wave event on May 25.

It can be difficult for smaller bands to establish themselves on the domestic music scene, as artists popularized through the Oricon music industry charts “are heavily weighed toward management-driven idols,” Rogue Wave organizer Keith Cahoon says. Although the local live-house scene is vigorous, there are “a lot of overlooked bands with real talent, but many live-house events just mix random bands that have little to do with each other, so there’s not much atmosphere.”

The concept behind Rogue Wave, then, is to create a unified vibe with performances by four homegrown bands at different stages in their careers.

The alternative/surf rock band Go! Go! 7188 (aka Gogo) was formed in 1998 by two high school alumni and has since released several albums and singles. The spirited, female-fronted Molice recently released their second album, “Catalystrock,” and played at Summer Sonic and the CAMA festival in Hanoi, Vietnam. Their style could be described as frenetic bass-tinged punk with melodic, quirky vocals. Natccu (pronounced na-chew) is a female vocalist who has toured the United States and Britain and plans to release her debut album later this year. Her style swings between groovy folk and driving alternative rock. The fourth band is the all-female Kinoco Hotel, which formed in 2007. Known for performing in red Sergeant Pepper-style military outfits, their use of organs and twangy guitars produces a distinctive retro effect.

It is hoped that Rogue Wave will signal a new surge of interest in a local scene teeming with talent.

Rogue Wave will take place May 25 at Fever in Shin-Daita, Tokyo. For more information, visit roguewavetokyo.com