Tokyo Damage Report

UNITE IN FIGHTING 16: Padlock, crossface, tempest, organism, veihaz

PUNK @ 20000V , 高円寺 SUNDAY NOV 23, 2008


This was another one of those "Great Bands / Not Enough Audience To Really Get A Party Started" – vibe-having-ass kind of shows. Also, most of the bands had moustaches. Keep an eye out.


Crossface often plays with Burning Spirits bands – in other words, they got mad juice with the burly-middle-aged-hardcore crowd. You can sometimes find the singer drinking in front of the train station.

The music was boring. Singer had a great angry-face but his body posture was all hunkered down like he was trying to block a punch. The rest of the band wasn’t even trying.

TEMPEST (sorry, couldn’t find a link for them!)

Tempest was great! One of those singers where you can’t take a bad picture of him. He was all moving around and dynamic, but at the same time seemed to have a bit of an ironic distance. The music was not as fast as, say ORGANISM or VIVISICK. Honestly at this point I seen so many damn bands it all blurs together.

This kind of thing! The kung-fu pose! Why is this not taught in Punk School?




Last time ORGANISM came through, they had a different bass player, and Mr. Big Neck (above) was singing. Now he’s bassing, too. ORGANISM has 2 basic concepts: 1) 2 guys shouting the entire song through – I kind of like this because it reminds me of the ’80s when bands like DRI would try to cram 400 words into a 20 second song. "THENAVYSAYSTHEYNEEDMORESHIPSSOTHEYCANFIGHTANDSHOOTANDSHIT,


Concept #2 of ORGANISM: make fun of the crowd. In between songs, they’d constantly pick on Tokyo. "You Toykyo guys are kind of weak. Just standing there like a bunch of scared kids at your first show. We came all the way from Osaka! Nobody’s dancing? What an unenterprising bunch! Is Tokyo even here tonight? Thanks a lot, East Coast!"

And so on.


If i can defend Tokyo for a second, there was not more than 20 people at the show, probably even an Osaka audience would not reach critical mass with 20 folks. But on the other hand, there was a lot of the "scary old punx who fought cops back in the ’90s" guys in the audience, and you’d think that if they were really as bad as they say, they’d be thrashing a little.


But even worse than the verbal abuse was the SILENCE. Organism would stop at the end of a song and just Stare At Us. Not just the singer – the whole band. Not necessairly mad-mugging us, but just Staring At Us for an uncomfortable amount of time. Most of the time if there’s crickets after a band finishes a song, it’s bad on the band, but Organism turned that silence around, they just fuckin’ Owned that silence. Like they were fuckin’ DARING us to say something. "The first east coast pussy to applaud gets a foot up his ass! You got something to fuckin’ say?" The silence was more tense/threataning than the music – which kind of makes sense: there’s a million bands that play fast aggressive music, but only one that does really aggresssive silence!

Anyway, ORGANISM’S combination of total chaos, pro-wrestling attitude, and moustaches was by far the best thing tonight. I even tried to apologize after the show in my stuttering, drunken Japanese: "Dood, sorry Tokyo is so pussy in the house!" The guy was like, "C’mon, bro, that was just schtick!"



These guys were some no-effort, tired-ass old men with some fake Mike Muir on vocals. For some reason the Scary Old Koenji Punk guys that had their arms crossed for ORGANISM really like VEIHAZ.



link to youtube of another performance.

Padlock was great – I hadn’t seen them in years but they are still super-energetic and sweat-covered. Super fast chaotic punk with anthemic, melodic choruses about freedom and such. The only thing they were missing was some upper lip adornment.


The singer said his job was building giant tunnels for new subway systems.


It was a pretty good show – 3 rad bands out of 5 – and I think the Padlock bass was trying to invite me to the after-party, but I was a mess – neck and liver all fucked up from going to CHURCH OF MISERY the night before. (I didn’t take any pictures of that show, so if you want to see how rad it was, you’ll have to wait for the live DVD).


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