Tokyo Damage Report

Framtid, Voco Protesta, Asbestos, Contrast Attitude, ISTERISMO, Final Bombs

@ EARTHDOM – "when the bombs fall"

 

VOCO PROTESTA

 

They got good old-fashioned 30 second songs. If only they had had classic thrash breaks to match. The vocal and drummer were angry, but the guitar and bass seemed bored. The vocal did that “This is a song about. . . .” thing that Western political bands used to do back in the day. Whether new bands or old bands, Japanese punks almost never do spoken intros, I don’t know why.


ASBESTOS

 

They played unrepentant retro- ‘80s thrash, but without any of the interesting fretty bits, breakdowns, or stop-and-start parts that made thrash interesting. Just lots of hyperspeed chugging and staggeringly inept solos. Some of these ‘80s punk bands look like they have not aged at all, but what is cool about ASBESTOS is that they are like ME — old guys that look old. Just some Dudes working at the muffler shop in relaxed-fit denim pants and droopy moustaches. The singer was awesome, though — all chugging from a ham-sized bottle of sake and running around stage waving his microphone in the air.

 

They closed with a song about unit 731, the hideous war-criminal doctors of the Imperial Japanese Army that vivisected Chinese prisioners during WWII. (the fuckin CIA and Macarthur conspired to cover up these war-crimes in exchange for the scientific data, a sort of Eastern Operation Paperclip). Eat some dicks, Macarthur.

Also, their set lists were written on porn. Ironically, the first song of their set was called RECYCLE.


 

CONTRAST ATTITUDE (FROM MIE)

 

the vocal and drums were regular-punk-guy-level-of-pissed but rhythm guitar and bassist were just psycho! All wild-eyed and didn’t seem to care too much about actually playing their instruments. The guitarist kept pointing to the crowd like “Come up here and let’s fight!” and the bassist had this expression which I can only describe as “Mongolian rampage”, throwing his bass around with his whole body like they were wrestling. I was in front, and the drummer kept doing this: playing a rad fill and then pointing directly at me. For the finale, the singer and rhythm guitarist leapt off stage together, and the bassist and drummer both played noise solos for another minute before exploding into pure energy, leaving behind a literal smoking pile of instruments in the center of the stage.

 

 

Dude’s Punkerbelt must have weighed 40 pounds — 2 belts, actually, each with a pouch, and each pouch with hella items dripping off of it. . .

 

In between bands, the DJ played ‘70s English pub-rock, which had a nice palate-cleansing effect. My rule of thumb is, any show where the in-between-bands music is the exact same as the band-music is going to be boring and withering.

 


ISTERISMO

 

 

These guys were also crusty — so chaotic they not only brought a hand-painted banner, but managed to destroy it during the course of their set. They acted crazy onstage but the vocal had a very wimpy voice — it wasn’t a throat-shredding scream, a scary woof, or even a Hard Core Yell, it just sounded like he was trying to talk loud on his cell phone in a noisy train station: CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW– HOW ABOUT NOW–

He must have weighed 70 pounds, but he kept jumping into the crowd (picture below), which was ballsy.

The most unique thing about this band is the drums – somehow (intentionally or not–) the kick and snare were EQed to sound like vintage 2 Live Crew Miami Booty Bass tones — a really brief, hi-pitched tinny plastic snare, and a monster BUHH BUHH farty bass tone. the soundman made the guitars totally inaudiable, which helped the drums stand out. So, yeah. Miami bass meets Japanese crust — intriguing!

 

I was up in front so I saw their setlist — reading upside down in Japanese is not easy but I managed to read 2 of their song titles — “LIFE” AND “NIGHTMARE” — and my first thought was, “Are all their songs named after other Japanese hardcore bands—-”

Bassist with beer-feed-bag, above.

Too much beer!


 

FINAL BOMBS

How did these guys even land the gig– They played some retro-‘80s hard rock, chugga-chugga, mid-tempo stuff, with falsetto singing. They didn’t even jump around or put on a show like ASBESTOS. The vocal’s pleather skintight vest and matching ass-pants wrote a rocking-check that homey just couldn’t cash. In fact, the singer even put his hair in a pony-tail halfway through, as if to say, “You know what– I’m not even thinking about headbanging right about now.”

 

Eventually, in a flash of insight, I got it: you know how there are like 100 discharge-clone bands like DISDAIN, DISCLOSE, DISFEAR, DISARM, etc– And they all rip off HEAR NOTHING SEE NOTHING SAY NOTHING- era Discharge, right–

And remember how Discharge put out that album GRAVE NEW WORLD where they “went metal” and instantly went from the most-loved to the most made-fun-of band in all punk history–

 

Well, FINAL BOMBS is a dis-core band that clones GRAVE NEW WORLD! It’s all a colossal piss-take on “regular” d-beat. Fucking awesome.

Guitarist plus headbang:

There was this moment in the middle of their set, when I catch the guitar’s eye and nod slowly, while stroking my beard, making this very sober, Principal Skinner face, like "Yes, yes, very good wrath."

Dude made the same exact face back. I GOT SERVED.

 

 

The second half of their set, they got a new singer, and changed their name, to LAST BOMBS. which i guess come after the final bombs– or something– The vocalist was pretty good, plus , in keeping with the old-guys-from-the-’80s theme , he wore his combat pants way up high, all retirement-home-style:

 

 

 

 


FRAMTID

 

FRAMTID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I first saw these guys back in 2002, at antiknock, with GAUZE, D.S.B., FLAME and ASSFORT, one of the all-time greatest shows ever. I came all the way from fuckin’ S.F. for that show. Having seen both ASSFORT and GAUZE in the USA, I knew there was no way I could miss it. both assfort and gauze were super intense and psycho, but I remember FRAMTID because they were just FUCKING SCARY. Like, not just loud and fast, but they had this WALL OF SOUND, and the singer’s voice was this super-deep guttural barking that just ate at your flesh. They didn’t act all gangster like assfort, or all pro-wrestling macho like Tetsuare / Total Noise Accord. They just STAND THERE and MAKE YOU KNOW YOU WILL DIE. Now, all bands play together, play the same notes, share the same stage, etc. but framtid is basically one giant- super scary crusty voltron motherfucker who happens to have 4 bodies. The intensity and single-minded purpose — some next-level shit, it’s unworldly. I can’t put it into words.

 

It was so crowded that their was no room for a pit.

 

I can only make an analogy with clothes : most kids buy black denim (KRIEGSHOG being Tokyo’s premier tight-black-denim-crust band), and eventually the denim rips a lot, gets patched up, and turns grey. There’s plenty of grey-denim crust bands, too, like LIFE. But FRAMTID’s clothes are beyond grey, they are this sort of mossy, underwater greenish-brown color that is populated by a complex ecosystem. That is the color of REAL. You can’t buy anything that color, you have to live it, and live it for like decades.

 

The singer had some kind of Chinese Queue (the shaved head with a pony tail thing), but since he was crusty, his queue was dreadlocks.

fucking intense!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just googled "framtid japan" trying to find a link to their record label to post here, but it turns out that the top result for "framtid japan" is my PREVIOUS framtid show review! that is rediculous.

 


DEATHTRIBE

 

These guys were enthusiastic. — but there was just no way anyone can follow after FRAMTID. It was a classic Japanese-style kamikaze mission. The bass player had the best outfit, though: bare-chested with a bandolier worn over one shoulder, and a gas-mask: like basically ROOOOOOAAR-era Voivod.

 

Plus, madd shout-outs to this guy:

 

This guy had the most spikes / patches in the room, plus mixed it up with classic bosozoku steez. He spent the whole show breathing with his mouth open, standing in the corner hating society. If you know who he is, please tell me because i am nuts for him.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Dom December 27th, 2014 6:59 am

    i saw life, who you mentioned in this blog, a few weeks back in london, and in regards to what you say about framtid being that mossy colour, i don’t think they have anything on life. i mean i haven’t seen anything like it, the singers jeans looked like brown leather.. and i think they used to be black jeans too. japanese bands in my opinion give the best punk shows live, the cultures so different that it is an entirely different culture, the bass player fell of the stage and was sick on everyones coats on the floor. incredible.

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