Unless you’re a keen fan of anime or Japanese music, you probably won’t have heard of this group. Oreskaband are an all female, six member ska band from Sakai in Japan that started out when they were in middle school. The band name, Oreskaband literally translates to ‘we’re a ska band’ and plays on some gender formalities in Japanese culture (ore is a very masculine way to say ‘I’). This is personified by the male, punky school uniforms that they wear on stage and in their videos.

Ikasu, Tae, Leader, Saki, Moriko and Tomi make up Oreskaband

Ikasu, Tae, Leader, Saki, Moriko and Tomi make up Oreskaband

They began in 2003, meeting after school and playing at every local club they could find. They self-produced their first album, Penpal in 2005 before signing onto Sony Music in 2006 while they were still in high school. Ska isn’t really a growing genre at the moment, so to have such a youthful, modern take on it is really unique. The lyrics are catchy and their big smiles on stage make them instantly likable.

A large array of instruments and harmonies mean that each song is recognizable, but completely different from the rest of their material. After doing an advert for the popular Japanese sweet ‘Pocky’, their popularity skyrocketed a few years ago and they were asked to do some much larger venues in Japan. Their songs have even featured in the credits of the highly popular shows Bleach and Naruto.

With a few smaller albums under their belts, they compiled their best tracks into a self titled album for America. Supporting the Vans Warped Tour for the past two years, it looks like Oreskaband are just starting to build a reputation on Western shores. Having left education early, they take their music seriously now and are well underway with writing for their new album. A teaser trailer showed them starring in an upcoming movie, so the six teenagers from Sakai are definitely driving forward. From the album released in America, I recommend checking out the tracks Pinnocchio and Chuck.

Official Website
Official Myspace
English translated blog