Swankys – This Is My Lifestyle! 7″

After changing their name back from Gai in 1985, and releasing their first tape as The Swankys, this is their first vinyl, also released in 1985. These songs are still pretty close to Gai’s style of ultra distorted and fuzzy raw punk, in fact several songs were lifted straight off Gai’s Damnation cassette.
My version is not the original, but a pretty recent bootleg.

Get it!

v.a. 死国 Shikoku Raw Punk Compilation – 2004 – 7′‘

The title of this 7“ compilation pretty much says it all: a raw punk compilation, bands from Shikoku, released in 2004. Of course, the mighty Disclose are the best known band on this comp, but Micro Film, Godfree Ho (what a great name!), Circle Flex, Nonsense Human Project and Conga Fury are no slouches either. This is a raging comp, distorted, fuzzy and wild. Btw: the name Shikoku normally translates as four provinces. But the way it is written on this compilation translates as…

Land Of Death! Yeah!

Forward – Feel The Core Of Self ep

Feel The Core Of Self was Forward’s 2nd 7“, released in 1997. The a-side is a heavy, rocking, mid-tempo stomper, while the flipside is raging smasher, both with Ishiya’s choking vocals and wild background chants. Hot!

So get it now!

ゴメス – Unaffected Nation 8“

Like their debut flexi 7“ from the year before, this 8“ from 1986 has three tracks of melodic, mid-tempo (and on the last track somewhat melancholic) punkrock. For some reason the a-side -“Unaffected Nation“- starts out with the wedding march as its intro, and the b-side’s catchy opener -called „To Hell“- has some chants of „Oi! Oi! Oi!“. A nation unaffected by weddings? To hell with Oi? Is that the meaning of this? I guess not. What’s a bit strange about this ep is the lengths of the songs: the first and the final track last more than 5 ½ minutes each, which is a bit much for simple punkrock.

Btw: no Beatles on this one!

Paintbox – The Door + Provided Railroad 7“

Paintbox’s 2nd 7“, released in 1999, is testament to their creativity and uniqueness. The Door is a fast and driving piece of powerful hardcore punk with Chelsea’s trademark guitar leads, but the real kicker here is the intro supported by a fucking brass section, which also gets to play a solo with dual harmonics. Provided Railroad is somewhat slower, but gets to feature a harmonica, congas (bongos?!), a flamenco guitar solo and another brass solo. I‘m not sure if I need to mention this, but ALL of these crazy musical excursion sound absolutely great!

Anybody wanna top that?!

Mobs – Gypsy On Journey 7“

Gypsy On Journey, another release with a title that’s no longer the preferred nomenclature, was the last 7“ by The Mobs. The guitar lead of the title track -a fast, melodic and somewhat melancholic hardcore song- bears an uncanny resemblance to the Asta Kask song Demokrati. The second track is a wild ride with a slap bass intro (with lots of chorus) and a really crazy synth. The last track is the most powerful one on this 7“, with metallic guitar leads and some nutty, almost clean guitar parts in the chorus/bridge/whatever.

Vi har demokrati så visst är du fri!

Endless Chaos – ST 7“

So far, their self-titled 7“ from 2016 is the only vinyl release by Endless Chaos (there’s also a live CDR). It’s got four simple, fast, driving and energetic hardcore songs. A little bit like Think Again maybe (Endless Chaos are a power trio as well!), though not quite as wild and insane, or maybe like a tighter but less melodic and catchy Exhale. Anyway, this is a damn cool 7“ and I sure hope there‘ll be more to hear of them some day.

Get it!

RAP – Trap 罠 7“

Trap 罠, released in 1986 on Dogma Records, was RAP’s 2nd 7“. It’s got three powerful tracks of mid-tempo to slow punkrock, all of which have a dark, melancholic and somewhat gloomy edge. I guess I prefer this one to their first 7“, which was more melodic and upbeat. A great release!

And again: no literal rap on this record, but another lame joke as the link’s title.

Liberate – Worth Of Living 7″

Liberate, another band made up of scenesters who all seemingly play(ed) in dozens of bands. Liberate played extremely tight, driving and fast hardcore. The songs on their debut 7“ from 1996 are definitely not melodic, but some are still kind of catchy. The third track „Surely“ on the other hand almost reaches D.O.N.D.O.N.’s levels of speed and hoarse atonality. Definitely a damn cool and powerful 7“.

Get it!

The Star Club – Hello New Punks LP

Although The Star Club (more Beatles references, haha!) had been active since early 1977, Hello New Punks from 1984 was their first studio album. Granted, that was after a live album and a load of 7“es. Most of the songs on this album are still mid-tempo punk rock, but sound a little less adventurous than on their early 7“es (especially Club Take One had some interesting shit IMHO!). Also the sound is tougher, and Hikage’s voice is kind of nastier than before .

Any new punks around in this day and age?

Auto-Mod – 遠い声 7“

1983’s 遠い声, the faraway voice, has two of my favorite tunes by Auto-Mod. The title track is a straight, dancable new wave number with an extremely catchy chorus, while the b-side (Enemy No. 3) kills everything with its funky bass and its Killing Joke allusions. No more of my useless babbling, just get it!

They‘re the enemy of the third world people (or something like that…)!

遠藤ミチロウ – Terminal 12“

During and after The Stalin Endō Michirō released tons of records with tons of other bands. On 1987’s Terminal you can still find lots of punkrock, albeit in a wild mix of synth-laden psychedelia, new wave, rock and post-punk. A bit like on Transformer’s Manoeuvre, Terminal’s heavier songs sometimes remind me of PIL’s album. Also, there’s a terrifying reworking of trash*’s 溺愛 (smothering love, one of my favorite songs by The Stalin), which seems even more choking and oppressive, with its monotone and somewhat atonal piano „melody“. None of all the songs‘ lengths are below 4 minutes, with three songs cracking the 9 minute mark. The production is clean with prominent drums pounding out the same static, mid-tempo rhythms -sometimes without any variation or fills- for minutes on end. All in all a very dark and strange album, but also a very satisfying listen if one is open to all its twisted weirdness.

Oh, Marx!

S.H.I. – S/T 7“

The Struggling Harsh Immortals aka S.H.I./死 (meaning death, of course) are a present hardcore „supergroup“ of sorts, with Zouo’s and Danse Macabre’s Cherry on Vocals, Keigo of G-Zet (and many others) on drums, to name just two of their prominent members. Their style of dark, sometimes plodding hardcore is not dissimilar to some of e.g. Danse Macabre’s stuff, but the added noise and samples give it another level of twisted sickness. This was their first 7“, released on Crust War in 2013.

Get it!

Sheena & The Rokkets – #1 LP

Here comes Mentai Rock legend Sheena And The Rokkets‘ 1979 debut LP, appropriately titled #1. The music is of course less punk than new wave rock (here too with a bit of a 50s influence), but the opener Highway Of Tears is such a driving, stomping and heart-thumping punk rock number you just wanna put on a moth-eaten Oxfam jacket, bounce around your room and gob at your parents! No wait, that would have been the UK… No idea what the punk kids in Fukuoka did.
This version of the LP is a later pressing from the mid-eighties with a different song order and one extra track.

Enjoy!

Warhead + ORdER – Don‘t Give‘n To Any Pressure!! + Space Junk 7“

I don‘t think Kyoto’s absolute hardcore monsters Warhead really need any introduction; OrdER are another of those long running bands who had a revolving door of former band members (did I use that metaphor correctly? Fuck it.) over their years. Warhead’s song is an overdriven mid-tempo stomper, while OrdER’s Space Junk is catchy and driving with a little ecclecticist weirdness thrown in.

Sorry, but I just can‘t come up with a better description today.

ガセネタ – S/T 7“

Gaseneta were among Japan’s earliest punk rock bands, but never released anything during their short existence. Their style was markedly different from most of their contemporaries, going more into a direction of hard, yet garagey noise rock. All of their surviving recordings are either from live shows or from rehearsal studios, and the four tracks on this posthumous 7“ from 2017 were recorded in early 1978 at Meiji University in Tōkyō.

Get it!

Kriegshög – ST LP

Hell yeah! Kriegshög, the grandmasters of absurdly distorted d-beat in our time! After 2 demos, two split 7“es and one 7“ e.p. they dropped this bomb of a debut album in 2010. The album was repressed in 2016, this here is the 2010 european version without the obi.

Are these Kriegshögs nuclear armed?

Death Side – Wasted Dream LP

Death Side’s first LP from 1989, one of the (many) true classics of japanese hardcore, and a defining record of the Burning Spirits style. The first time I listened to it, I was pretty overwhelmed by just how relentlessly fast, driving and powerful it is. There is not a single calm moment on the whole record, the playing is frantic yet monstrously tight, and the songs are among the best shit ever written by any japanese band. Period.

This version is the bootleg from the early 2010s, so the sound is a littled bit muffled and the print quality is okayish. Too bad there was a skip in the VERY FIRST SONG of the original record.

Have you looked into mirror yet?

Zoe – From Hell 7“

I guess you can‘t expect anything nice when a band names one of its releases after a letter written by Jack The Ripper. Anyway, From Hell was Zoe’s very first 7“, released in 2003. It’s full of Amebix worshipping stenchcore, played by former members of crust monsters Gloom and Framtid. So if you like metallic, british style traveller crust, this one’s for you.

The darkest heavy Zoe!

Michiro, GET THE HELP! Presents Help! (Take 2) 7″

Unbelievable, it’s happening again: I‘m posting yet another cover of a Beatles song. This song was originally released in 1985 on the first 12“ of Endō Michirō’s post-The Stalin solo project. This flexi was a one track promotional 7“.

I guess once you start covering the Beatles you really DO need help…

The Rockers – WHO TH rROCKERS LP

The 1980 debut album by The Rockers, no matter how you might want to spell them! Coming out of the Mentai Rock Scene, they were among Japan’s earliest bands to play punk-inspired rock music. The music on their debut is fast and powerful, but more like sped up and dirtied rock‘n'roll rather than pure punk rock. Although their debut was only released in 1980 and on a major label nonetheless, The Rockers were still and important early punk band.

Who?

ME♀SS – Get Into A Mess 7“

This flexi 7“ was Me♀ss‘ debut release from 1986. They played very tight and fast hardcore, sometimes being very metallic (as in the chug-a-chugging instrumental intro), sometimes being pretty punky. Me♀ss went on to release two albums, one 8“ and a number of compilation tracks. Though I‘m not completely sure, Me♀ss‘ band name was probably derived from the japanese „mesu“, meaning female and being pronounced roughly similar to the english „mess“. It would also explain the venus sign in the name. Although the name is occasionally transscribed as „Mess“, it probably does not mean „mess“.

What a mess!

The Sexual – Complete Discography 1983 – 1985 LP

This LP is an fanclub edition of Sexual’s official Complete Discography CD release. It contains their two flexi 7“es, their two tracks off the Jisatsu Omnibus, four previously unreleased demo tracks and two live tracks. This is truly classic mid-eighties japanese hardcore, musically wild, vicious and powerful (and as I mentioned before, their english is sung with the thickest japanese accent you could wish for).

This is as good as it gets!

Crow – 血涙 LP

I guess I‘ll have a hard time describing this LP without sounding like a pathetic fanboy, but this album IS that good: evil, metallic, brutally powerful, dark and atmospheric. Even the slower parts of this album are just as full of incredible tension and power. A number of songs are re-recorded versions off previous releases. God Of Chaos, Give Up All Hope and A Door To An End are pretty similar to the older versions (though Give Up All Hope gained LOTS of power), while Anarchy, Chaos, Destruction is almost an entirely new (and also far more powerful) song when compared to the original. It also gained two minutes of feedback in the beginning to really kick off the album, hehe.

Metal Machine Music, anyone?

Gai – Damnation 12“

Gai originally released this noisy monster on tape in 1984, this here is a vinyl re-release from the late nineties. The recording is a lot noisier than on Extermination, and the playing is somewhat faster, so here Gai sound a lot more unrestrained than on their vinyl debut. The songs are also somewhat more „diverse“; there’s slower songs and a rough version of the „melodic“ I Love You. Some of these tracks would later be released on the Swankys‘ debut „This Is My Lifestyle“ (which means they also made it onto this bootleg). Rip Off, Sell Out, Money Grab?

You decide! ;)

Assault – ST 7“

Released in 1999 on Loud Hatred Records, this is Assault’s 1st 7“. The three songs on their debut are powerful, kind of anthemic and catchy hardcore, with some cool guitar harmonies and background chants. They definitely split up too soon, before they could release a full length album. Damn.

Get is, this is great shit.

Destruction – Discography 1998-2011 Tape

Nope, these guys are not that somewhat well known german power trio from Weil am Rhein. THIS Destruction were not quite typically japanese in their sound, playing political, melodic crustcore. In their time they released a tape single, a split 7“ and some compilation tracks. As the name suggests, this tape compiles all their releases. I only discovered them since they share members with the incredible Unarm whom I can‘t help but worship to hell and back, haha.

Get it!

Zetu – Ninja Attack! 7“

Zetu were a short lived hardcore band from Kōbe who sadly only managed to release a demo, this 2012 7“ and a couple of compilation tracks. Musically they were kinda similar to Vendetta or Skizophrenia: simple, powerful and driving take-no-prisoners hardcore punk à la E.A.T.E.R. or Missbrukarna. Definitely awesome shit.

A ninja attack. Bet you never saw that one coming. Harhar.

Warriors – Wild Cherry 12″

The Warriors‘ second release from 1986. The four songs are catchy, melodic punk with a bit of rock‘n'roll (and one ballad) thrown in, quite similar in style to their first 7“ from the same year. Some copies came with a freebie flexi of the song Feel Good, my 12“ sadly came without it.

It’s still very much feelgood music! In a good way!

Inu – メシ食うな!LP

Inu from Osaka, a highly important and influential late 1970s punk band. Aside from appearing on 1980’s Dokkiri Record, “Meshi Kuuna!“ from 1981 was their only release during their original run. This LP is wild and very diverse, with the music ranging from bouncy, melodic and dancable punk rock to slow, atonal dirges. Anyway, a truly awesome album. I find the inventive guitar playing with its cool melodies especially interesting. A couple of years later, they also released a posthumous album with live recordings from 1979.

Get it!



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