Tokyo Damage Report

nueva etika, thorn, blood calls we die, pasqua, loyal to the grave @hatsudai wall




I’m not really familiar with this style of rock music, so I don’t know if this was a typical show or not. There seemed to be a lot of dudes drinking, for one thing. Also, the audience was clapping. Usually audiences at Japanese punk/metal shows NEVER clap. Furthermore, the audience was either doing that nutty human-windmill dance, or they were just standing around like ‘duh-hut.’ There was absolutely nothing in between. The bands, of course, all sounded the same. Why, I don’t know. If your whole “movement” is about BELIEFS – SxE, vegan, loyalty to friends, animal rights, champion socks, etc – why should it matter what you sound like??  But whatever. I will do my best to describe what made each band unique.




Basic primitive, catchy death metal, like Bolt Thrower or something. A lot of fun!



Holy shit! Big-dude-crab-jump!


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Tried to be technical but failed. Had the worst guitar/bass tone ever. Guitar was playing all this nutty hammer-on stuff, but kept looking at the drummer like, “What tempo is this song, again?” Oh, plus they were named GENESIS. I kept expecting Phil Collins to mosh on stage and knock them all out by head-butting with his abnormally huge forehead.  He would probably also have to have a cool kung-fu name for his forehead attack. Anyway, Genesis had really schizophrenic fashion; The vocal is your gym teacher, the guitarist is Fallout Boy, and the guitarist is basically every single guy at Tokyo’s Guitar Institute of Technology.


Even worse was their One Fan. This guy was like so chock-full of douche maneuvers, I’m surprised they all fit in one body:  a faux-hawk (AKA Funk-Metal Bass Player Haircut), WITH dread-stensions, and Vanilla Ice parts shaved in the sides of his hair, PLUS a snake tattoo armband, PLUS he looked like he was ready to teach a Brazilian Capoeria class in his shiny sweats and tank-top. Oh, and he kept on trying to kick people in his one-man pit.




Super rad judas priest style  coordinated head-banging,  and they went nuts onstage, but were still hella tight. They were heavy but also actually had fun at the same time. The music was corny Swedish melo-death metal meets early avenged sevenfold. Embarassing? Maybe. But fuck it, you know, I’m not buyin’ the CD, I came to see a performance, and that is what I got with this fuckin’ band!!!



above, a move that must have been planned:  Tiny Guitarist crouches, and Tall Guitarist puts his foot ON him, as if T.G. was a monitor speaker.

FUCKIN OBSERVE THE ROCK HERE, PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


See: Loyal To The Grave.







I was really disappointed to realize that his t-shirt did NOT , in fact, say "CTHULHLU: VEGAN STRAIGHT EDGE."

Someone needs to make that shirt.


Raddd! They had an IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE song playing as they came on. The singer is named Gian (from the doraemon comic). He basically raps in a cookie-monster voice, and the band plays riffs that are simple and catchy. Not so much the technical, staccato, weird-rhythm stuff of new hardcore. More like mid-tempo, synchopated, funkier-version-of-reign-in-blood-but-on-second-thought-not-that-good. I wonder if the singer has a rappin’ solo side-project like the equally huge singer of CALUSARI?






Boring but crowd liked it. I don’t get it! The guitarists didn’t do any posi-jumping, the vocal didn’t march back and forth like a drill instructor lecturing his troops. They weren’t really trying, and yet the crowd really enjoyed it. Huh? Seeing as all these bands sound the exact same, how do people decide which band to like, if not by the energy of the performance??



I like how the gentleman at left with the green Pendleton is kind of laughing but trying to hide it.



Nueva Etica (new ethics) (or, in Japanese, 新しい倫理学)  were all vegan bodybuilders with hooded sweatshirts. I  have never understood that whole “EAT A CARROT! PUNCH A DUDE! EAT SOME SPROUTS! KICK A DUDE’S FACE! WEAR A HOOD! BENCH-PRESS! BENCH PRESS 300 POUNDS OF ANKLE-HEIGHT CHAMPION SOCKS! I HEARD YOU BEEN TAWKIN SHIT ABOUT THE CREW! HUT HUT HIKE! ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR!!!!! BROCCOLI!!!!!!!!!!”

I just never got that – probably because I wear glasses. So I was kind of looking askance at these guys as they tried to wedge all their big Latin muscles onto the tiny stage, but once they started it was INSTANTLY AWESOME. It wasn’t the music – it wasn’t even that they jumped around all crazy (though the bassist had some moves) – it was that they had CHARISMA. (‘la carisma’?).  they just created an aura of pure intensity. People who had just sat through 6 bands and were totally tired –those people went nuts. The singer said slam, and people slammed. The singer said dive, and people dove. He could have said “STOP! HAMMER TIME!” (Parada! Martillo tiempo!) and everyone would have frozen in their tracks, and then possibly did the bump for a second. There was a problem with some drunk dude who was bothering people, but eventually he got ejected (saw homey outside looking none the worse for wear), and you could hear the moshers breathing a sigh of relief: “Finally, now we can get back to punching our friends in peace!”




Popeye is alive and well and living in Argentina! (toot,toot)

Check out how the INTRO is the LAST song. Rad!



ALLRIGHT, AND  if you want to see some more hardcore shows, check my show schedule page. I just updated that shit with a bunch of the flyers i got at THIS show.

8 comments Tags: , , , , ,

8 Comments so far

  1. Case May 13th, 2009 4:12 am

    Actually Loyal To The Grave is one of the biggest names in the metal-core scene over there, so I guess no matter what they do, the crowd will go crazy. Just coz its them on stage.
    However there are some live vids of them on youtube and whatnot, where they look quite energetic, so maybe they just had a bad day? Or didn’t get enough carrots for lunch and they were pissed?

  2. Robin May 13th, 2009 11:06 am

    Deeyamn! That whole “I have to wear a baseball cap and short pants to be hardcore this even made it to Japan?”

  3. admin May 13th, 2009 4:47 pm

    HAHA! What did you think would happen?!?

  4. Liam Conroy May 15th, 2009 9:45 am

    Hey great blog here, good to read a bit about the different alternative scenes going on in Tokyo. Also good to see a bit of hardcore on the go too!

    I’m moving to Tokyo (Koenji) in August, so this kind of stuff is great for motivation and information!

  5. szaszha May 15th, 2009 10:57 am

    and how the fuck do these guys eat zero protein, drink nothing but fiji water out of reusable recycled bottles and wear hoodies and three layers of clothing in a cramped ass hundred degree basement show parlor while jumping around and playing hardcore and not just drop dead? that is some extreme conditioning. i’d be naked on stage eating a cheeseburger dripping sweat and chugging a beer in five minutes if i tried to play a show like that.

  6. Bleh May 15th, 2009 1:48 pm


  7. admin May 15th, 2009 5:43 pm

    @Bleh: no.

  8. admin May 15th, 2009 5:43 pm

    @ szaszha : I think I’ve been to your show.

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