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It’s probably safe to suggest that you were not in attendance at the 2011 Teens Rock in Hitachinaka music contest, but if you were, you would be amazed to see just how far a three-piece female rock band – who named themselves after a fish – have come.

SHISHAMO formed in 2010, when Kawasaki City High School students Asako Miyazaki, Aya Matsumoto and Misaki Yoshikawa attended the school’s Light Music Club and partnered up, they initially performed cover songs, but eventually started writing original music and by the time they reached the Teens Rock in Hitachinaka contest in 2011, they were able to walk away with the grand prize and also the Best Vocalist award.

By the time they graduated from Kawasaki City High School in 2013, they had already released an indie debut CD exclusive to Tower Records and were already radio personalities for ‘All Night Nippon R’ on NRN (Nippon Broadcasting System).

Their first major album release Shishamo came only a few months after graduating from High School and was quickly followed up by their first National Tour, before founding bassist Aya Matsumoto announced she would be leaving the band to fulfil a promise she made in high school to quit the band when she turned 20.

Matsumoto was replaced by current bassist Aya Matsuoka and with this final lineup, SHISHAMO have released six studio albums, with each new album slowly rising in the charts, their 2018 album Shishamo 5 reached #3 on the Oricon Album Chart.

SHISHAMO returned on March 27, with their latest music video OH!which delivers a solid, traditional SHISHAMO-sound, production that’s easy on the ears, a well-timed vocal structure in Asako’s typical style, pop but with punk undertones, and a combined beat that is guaranteed to have you nodding along, or tapping your feet – as the girls give a simple, multi-angle rooftop performance.

One of SHISHAMO’s greatest strengths, is that in a market where most Japanese music videos are overproduced or stylised – SHISHAMO’s music videos are always simple, keeping the focus on their most important asset, their music.

Honestly though, if you can think of any fish puns, let minnow.

Rating: 90/100

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