Tokyo Damage Report

crow, guillotine terror, shikabane, 324

hardcore at earthdom 3/16

One of those shows where all the crazy 40 year old scary uncle punkers come out of retirement and have a party. The last word in this review will be "sac."



Even though CROW was the opening band, they came out like "we run this venue. You will dance now.", and people did! They have this charisma! The bassist is all leaning sinuously like a snake, the guitarist has his foot up on the monitor so high that his knee is basically pressed to his sternum, and the vocalist is bending his body into Twister positions while bellowing in agony. He keeps pointing at people in the audience and making "c’mere" gestures with his fingers like we will win a prize if we last one round with him. In between songs, he was all busting on the audience in Japanese, "you fucking guys. you are boring. you’re boring me. Let’s all sit here all quietly and be boring and sad. You sad little girls!"

on the left, that is a headbang. these 2 women were in the front row going apeshit, creating between them a virtual wall of hair, which made it really difficult to get any good pictures.

The drummer is "iron fist," the guy from SSORC, Die you bastard, and like 30 other grind bands. I am surprised he can play slow enough to be in a mere thrash band. Maybe he ate some really heavy fondue right before the show. During the CROW songs that had a rock and roll tempo, he never used a steady hi-hat or ride cymbal to keep time. He would do some prog rock shit where he would improvise patterns on the kick and snare, and accent with the crash cymbal, but keep time in his head. i was like, dood, where did you learn THAT?????




GUILLOTINE TERROR – these guys were awesome! ’80s crossover mosh parts with occasional bursts of japanese traditional hardcore speed. the bassist had this crazy leaning-tower-of-pizza style, and he was wearing overalls with a flannel shirt-as-a-skirt which was pretty bold. The guitarist was a cholo with baggy dickies and a bandanna. actually this whole band was bandannaed out. i left my bandanna at home but i was wearing a pendleton, so i undid every button except the very top button and flipped up the brim on my baseball cap and was all, like, "OK LET’S DO THIS!!!!"





The singer was bombastic, but not just that — he had this very unique, specific sort of bombast – half pro wrestler, half vintage James T. Kirk. it was amazing to see him in action. plus he would do this thing where he would almost start to punch the air, but then at the last minute he would turn his fist around, facing himself, and then SING TO HIS FIST. I think the lyrics was like, "SALLRIGHT? SALLRIGHT!"

definitely i would like to see a karaoke constest between him and the singer from LIFE.








The first time I saw these guys I loved them but couldn’t remember what they sounded like. This time around, I was determined to stay (kind of) (a little) (sufficiently) sober, so that i’d have some idea what i loved so much. the punchline: the sound was so bad that i STILL have no idea!

(maybe i’ll start using that approach with EVERY band I’m too wasted to remember: "Oh, it was the soundman. The PA. Atrocious, really. Nothing to do with the half a lemonade I imbibed, officer.")


But for realz, the sound was crap.

I’ll try to explain what little i could comprehend: The songs were long, had a lot of dynamics and what sounded like "real" chords, not just barre chords. Emotionally overwrought. Bass parts had a lot of notes, but the guitar tended to play very simple chord progressions. They have long quiet parts and almost melodic Black Metal parts too, very emotional to the point of being kind of pretentious.

Honestly they weren’t as good as i remembered, but on the other hand, they showed that you don’t have to be Atmospheric Posthardcore in order to have dynamics and emotionally complex music. They manage to take their own path. One part of a song had just bass for a long time, like that Weakling song, and another part had just guitar and singing.














falco was from out of town. they really tried hard but – you know how sometimes the band has a shitty mix but the still pull it off through sheer charisma? this was not one of those times.

it sounded kind of fast and complex grindcore, with long slow breakdowns and no bass player. which you’d think with no bass to muddy the mix it would be easier to hear the notes, but no.


their slogan (on the flag behind the drums): TOKYKO GRINDERS

In japanese, 324 is pronouned SAN NI YO. This dude was talking about how brutal san ni yo was, and how old-school san ni yo was, and all i could reply was, "SANRIO? like Hello Kitty? god damn right she’s brutal!"

i am not kidding. if i was trying to think of a joke on purpose, i would have rejected that for being too corny. but fuck it, it went down like that.

The vocalist was all jumping around acting crazy- it looked like he was about to climb the walls and brachiate around the ceiling – and the drummer was absolutely furious. but the bassist and guitarist were kind of not pulling their weight. despite a crowd that clearly loved them, they were all ho-hum, another day another dollar, check out how i stand in this one spot and play notes. guess i should have seen them back in the day. There was no feeling of threat or danger. Some Osaka band could play half as fast and do 10 times as many wrong notes but be way more heavy just by looking the audience in the eye and grabbing their sac.


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