Tokyo Damage Report

Sigh@ Ookubo Hot Shot




Defiled played very technical death metal, but the sound at the club was so bad, all I could hear was kick drum. I liked the part that went DUGADUGADUGADUGADUGADUGADUGADUGADUGADUGADUGADUGA.


Disconformity also played a lot of fast notes which i could not hear, so i was really mad and frustrated until i saw this guy:

how awesome is he?? he thinks he looks like some american basketball player with his bald head, but becuase he’s got such a chubby face, his bald head makes him look like a huge baby!! i was like OH MY GOD THAT BIG BABY CAN ROCK!! he was doing all kinds of crazy Les Claypool stunts too. My friend says he and his father run a Bhuddist temple in the suburbs. So he’s a monk, and a baby, a giant, and a basketball star, a slap-bass death-metaller, and probably has secret identities on top of that. fuck yes!!

Dude was just having so much fun being a huge rocking baby!! His enthusiasm was infectious: I kept saying "check out the big baby! the baby can shred with the best of them!!"

Disconformity (turns out it IS an English word) plays music like, half-death-metal, half-new-school-hardcore. . . the kind of stuff that young kids do the "human windmill" dance to. They had these weird half-speed breakdown parts, that were slow but not moshy at all. Like, the band members would not headbang at all but instead they’d lurch around like seasick-style. They’ve been doing that for years, it’s pretty amazing.


they played really primitive doom, and no one was a baby.



This is the band everyone came to see: reputedly the first black metal band in Japan.

Also, the most hated. I swear every Japanese punk/metal person i mention the name SIGH to, says something totally mean about them. and this is Japan! But I’m hated too, and I’m not a (totally) bad guy. . . .so I won’t prejudge the band.

Throughout the years Sigh has had a lot of different styles: from raw, darkthroney black metal, to melodic, Iron-Maiden-y stuff, to ’70s hard rock, but it was all tied together by a common thread of utter randomness. I think the first time I heard them, my friend played me this song where it’s regular black metal for 3 minutes and then the music suddenly stops and all you hear is creaking doors and barking dogs for like 2 minutes, and then the song picks up right where it left off, as if nothing untoward had occurred. We listened to that shit over and over again, trying to determine if They Were Kidding Or What??

Tonight they played mostly melodic metal. not too fancy, not too fast. But with a saxophone. Plus some of the song arrangements had that same are-you-kidding quality. one song in particular consisted of an intro, which led into. . . .a different intro! which led back into the first intro again! and both intros had totally different vibes, like they were intros to very different types of songs. This kind of thing happened occasionally but not enough to blow my mind.

In fact, if you hadn’t told me I was seeing the most famous black metal band in Japan, i would never have known! It’s the old sad story of "only one original member left, plus a bunch of random people found in a classified ad." Not sure if that is the case, but it definitely had that kind of vibe.

the bass player (extreme left) was awesome because he was so bowl-cut-pudgy- Akihabara-nerd. he was out of place even in a out-of-place band! but mr. bass, mr. guitar, and mr. drums had no enthusiasm or showmanship. on the other hand. . .

. . . Miss Saxomophone was waaay too much! She had a good "metal voice" but i think her lyrics went something like, "LOOK AT ME!! DON’T LOOK AT THE OTHER GUYS! OVER HERE! ME ME ME!! CHECK IT OUT I’M A LADY!!" If you could have taken her ego and sort of ground it up in some sort of psychic pestle, and distributed it amongst the other band members, the show would have been very rocking.

the singer / mastermind dude was convincingly spooky. by which i mean "wizard cloak." no, no, i kid. he was good. scary good.






You know how a lot of bands sort of start their show by tuning or playing shitty blues licks while staring down at their pedals, and this goes on for a long time and it seems like eveyrone is waiting for everyone else to finish fucking around? and it is really half-assed?

Graviton is the opposite of that! They are one of those super-intense bands that sort of stand on stage for awhile before they start, just breathing heavily, already sweaty, hunkered over their instruments like olympic runners at the starting line, all staring at each other like "fuck me? no fuck YOU!" until the tension gets built really high.

Plus they have the Underwear Drummer. Pretty much since the Melvins came out, I can say with some authority that an Underwear Drummer is like the seal of quality for a band. such bands might not be the best band ever, but they will definitely be at least a 6 out of 10.


unfortunately the club sound went back to sounding like crap, so i have no idea what GRAVITON actually sounds like. i think it was fast and complicated and screamy. by that time of the evening i had seen like 5 death or grind bands already, and heard over 3,000,384 notes . . . , but i could only recognize about 40 of those notes. and of those 40 maybe i could hum about 10. And i realized: wait a minute. that is too many wasted notes. so i left in the middle of the show and listened to the RAMONES, who have never wasted a note in their lives. in fact, they play the same note in every song!

Outside the club, i saw the SIGH personnel hanging out . This was probably the only chance in my life to ask about the barking-dogs-and-squeaky-door-black-metal song (re: kidding or not). but i didn’t know the name of the song, so i just said, good job, guys and went home like a putz. but on the other hand: RAMONES.



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