Tokyo Damage Report

gauze @ antiknock

gauze at antiknock 1/21

The first band was THE TRASH.

Judging by how happy their fans were it’s been a really long time since they played. The guitarist was dressed as a pimp, the bassist was wearing a zoot suit, and the singer was doing every iggy pop pose in his power. The music was sometimes stooges-y and sometimes like b.b. king. You could sort of picture them opening up for AC/DC before they got famous.







They had the worst sound ever. Like it was 90% bass drum and 10% sax. You couldn’t even tell if the songs were good or not.



Usually when they play shit gets so violent so fast that I just wind up watching the traffic-jam-level stagedivers instead of the band. But this time, instead of the Gauze audience showing up, somehow the audience for a string quartet showed up instead, meaning there was only 10 stage divers instead of 100. I know most string quartets have around 15, but you use whatever metaphors are close.


Anyway, this was a good thing because I could actually listen to the band this time. It turns out they’re good! Most bands from their era ? the “jappacore dynasty” of the early 80s ? play really long songs where all the riffs sound the exact same and there are no breaks. But gauze plays short songs with lots of breaks (not breakdowns but weird stop-and-start changes between riffs). And even the fast parts all have different rhythms. Rather than having a repitoire of 100 different bits with identical thrashing drums and only the chords are different, gauze’s music is based on percussion, synchopation and rhythm ? whether it’s in the call-and-response vocals or the offbeat accents on the drums. That is awesome!! Without losing any speed or intensity, they give every song different styles. What is weird is this ? given that gauze are hugely popular and influential, why doesn’t anyone copy them? Why do most bands copy the boring, long, no-rhythm-style of jappacore??




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