Tokyo Damage Report

icepick 2009年

October 10, 2009 @ earthdom


 WHAT IS ICEPICK?? It’s a once-a-year concert that unites  " patriotic bands" and "skinhead bands" for an all-out right-winger sing-a-long. It’s been going on – I think – for nine years now.


This year it occurred in Earthdom, which was kind of ironic since Earthdom is in the center of Koreatown.


Naturally I had to go.


It was a lot different than other oi! shows I’ve been to in Japan. For one thing, there were a lot less people. Any thoughts that I would get hassled by thin-skinned skins evaporated when I saw the small crowd. It seemed as if they’d be happy to get attention from anyone. 


The silliness of bands like TABLOID PLAY or DADDY LONGFEET or ROUGH STUFF was absent.  Also absent: the obsessive "english Bloke with moped" cosplay of typical oi! shows.  The "serious patriotic" skins preferred to emulate their English the SPIRIT of a foreign subculture, not just the superficial style:   since English skins dress like typical blue-collar workers, the Japanese skins dress like Japanese workers. It’s pretty cool to see Japanese thinking about foreign subcultures on a deeper level for once.


Of course, some of the bands were so "Constructy Joe McLunchpail" that it verged on Village People territory, but that’s another story.


There weren’t any real speeches. I have no idea what the lyrics were about. Sometimes the bands would call out to the audience, "Fellow patriots!", but mostly in between songs  they scolded the audience like some older brothers who "bust your balls" to "make a man out of you".


Also, a lot of dudes had cherry blossom tattoos.


As usual, I tried to make each band’s name a link to their homepage, but these guys keep their websites well-hidden. If anyone knows the band’s page, send me a link so that I can remedy the situ!



Regular workin’-man’s good-time rock-n-roll. More Bob Seger or Foghat than Skrewdriver.


 Dude was wearing auto-mechanic coveralls with the top down and tied around his waist. Also I think he eschewed Docs for rubber slippers, as if he was on break from his job at  Bill’s Garage and dropped by to rock the mic before finishing that frikkin’ transmission.


OUKA  (桜花 = cherry blossom)

The sound was  bit more metally with the chugga-chugga riffs.
Also,  OUKA provided a definite answer to my question, "What is different between western and japanese skins?"
A: Japan has more conch shells:

 Dude also was wearing two baseball hats at the same time AND a Sars mask.

 I think the guitarist for OUKA is the singer for TETTSUI.


The sound was quite deliberately stripped-down and basic (stoic and Spartan is what they are going for – the virtues of the samurai warrior!). Two-note songs! Chorus one note!
The two identical-twin singers traded verses.







 Below: this was my only good shot of the bassist. Check his facial hair:



Yeah, I know there’s a giant tarantula on the dude next to him, but pay attention to the facial hair for just a second:


bald head / moustache / tiny Luciferian goatee. Where have I seen that before? Not on UK Skins.

VATOS LOCOS. That is who has that hair.

The chicano gang-bangers.


And yet, 70% of skins here had that same hair.








¡ ヤマト右翼ポル・ヴィダ!

 and so on.


MIBURO (壬生狼) –
honestly I don’t know how to translate this first kanji. Something like "9th alive wolf"????? Probably not. Anyway, I think they’re named after some famous samurai?
Miburo had more of a classic SHAM 69 anthemic-singalong chorus, happy band. I think they got the biggest crowd response.






The worst metal possible. Like speedmetal without any talent. Every song had the same 3 notes: e, fsharp, and g. chugga.
It was doubly painful because their costumes were so rad:


The guitarist was Ninja Matrix dude with Kamikaze headband and a foot on the monitor. How could you go wrong?


The vocalist was fuckin’ G.I. Joe! Were they going to do some Alabama-style Civil War Re-Enactment?


No. They were just going to suck.


TE-TSUI (鐵槌 = sledge-hammer)
They say these guys are the biggest skin band in japan. They had bluesy hooks to the songs, fast, speed-metal verses, and anthemy, OI! Choruses.
Best parts though ,were a few songs where they played “old fashioned” guitar chords (not the power chords), and they sung, it had more of a nostalgic-Japan-ballad flavor, if the Showa-era ballad was done in a metal style!



 And again with the cholo-hair.





 Dude even leaning like a cholo. Also note his comically oversized clown-boots. Napoleon complex, I suppose.

Dude in the right lower corner also auditioning for a custom Homie figurine.


 Check out the fists and brotherhood.   Hella skinheads materialized like out of nowhere for TETTSUI. Seriously, they’re so hard-core, their fans don’t even show up for the other skin bands.




I didn’t understand the lyrics, so I can’t answer the question of "Are they Assholes?"

Maybe someone can check this page out  or this other page and translate some lyrics?


I see no reason to be prejudiced against them just because they’re  nationalist skins.

Until proven otherwise, I’m just going to assume all lyrics are about Brown Pride and La Raza:





4 comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 Comments so far

  1. François November 19th, 2009 4:08 am

    I think 壬生狼 was a group of samurais that were all about 尊皇攘夷, during 幕末.
    They merged into 新撰組 conservative groups, or something like that.

    No wonder that pops up during an uyoku-skin show.

    I’ve seen a lot of J-hiphop guys looking like cholos too. What’s the link between them, the skins you’re talking about and mexican thugs, that would make them want to look similar?

  2. Monty November 19th, 2009 11:12 am

    I have a Miburo compilation, and they’re definitely the best skinhead band ever, even if I can’t understand more than a few words per song. Come to think of it, it’s BETTER that I can’t understand more than a few words per song. The lyrics are probably as predictable and boring as most other skinhead bands, but since the vocals are just another aspect of the sound to me I can really get into it. Whenever I listen to Miburo it makes me feel like I could blow up the world with nothing more than an intense grimace if I just tried hard enough, kind of like how Blood4Blood used to do for me before I got tired of their incessant whining. I’d really like to see them live if I could ever work a visit to Japan out.

  3. Chris November 20th, 2009 7:49 am

    this was probably THE gig to go to this fall. oh well, maybe next year.

  4. tsuka November 29th, 2009 3:15 am

    Miburo and Tettsui aren’t Nazis, and I don’t think they’re assholes, but they are very far right.

    Most of the lyrics are about patriotism, sacrifice etc. Quite a few songs are about the patriotism and sacrifice of the soldiers in WW2. No Nazi lyrics like “foreigners out” or anything like that.

    Tettsui used to be called “Sledgehammer” (which is what Tettsui means actually). They used to sing in English and tried to emulate the UK skins. I have a Christmas song on a compilation. Someone in the background yells out “wish you! wish you!” several times at the end of the song. I guess they thought that the “wish you” part of “We wish you a merry Christmas” was a phrase on its own.

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