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Japanese rock quartet RADWIMPS skillfully captures teenage longing in shout-along choruses. The original members, five high school friends, first came together in 2001 in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Their early works, riffing on the all-together-now style of Oasis attracted a local fanbase. Following a brief hiatus to focus on college exams, the group paired down to a foursome composed of vocalist and guitarist Yojiro Noda, guitarist Akira Kuwahara, bassist Yusuke Takeda, and drummer Satoshi Yamaguchi. After signing with major label EMI Music Japan, RADWIMPS quickly achieved mainstream success on the strength of speedy sentimental singles like “Kanashi” and their angrier stabs at Nu-Metal on songs such as “Setsunarensa.” While similar groups locked into a groove and rehashed the same ideas, RADWIMPS expanded their sound in the 2010s. Venturing into soundtrack work, the band scored the 2016 animated film Your Name., a blockbuster hit enhanced by ballads like “Sparkle” and zippier numbers like “Zenzenzense.” Tracks like these introduced them to an even wider audience, one stretching beyond the usual rock ‘n’ roll die-hards. RADWIMPS remains a staple in the Japanese rock scene regardless of what musical direction its members take and still manages to bottle the complicated feelings of adolescence in a chugging rock cut.

Yokohama, Japan

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