Tokyo Damage Report

conquest for death, vitamin x, everybody’s enemy, dammit honey, yuuyake no oka, hardcore fanclub

friday november 6 @ nakano moon step


aaah shit! The Conquest for Death tour rolls on. This time with ANOTHER 9-band marathon show.

This time, though, it was mostly younger bands, bands without a lot of "clout" or "juice" within the main Tokyo scene.

Usually these bands have to "pay dues" for like 9 years before they can get on good shows, so it’s nice to see some of the bookers fucking shit up and flipping the script a bit.


dammit honey!

 Dammit Honey is the name of the band. They sort of sound like they are coming from some scene from some other country nobody’s heard of: Like someone explained hardcore punk to them but they never heard any and had to kind of re-invent it in isolation.

I’m down with Dammit Honey because they have some of my favorite things:

double vocals

short songs

and most importantly (even more important than a face full of glue-on stars!) they try to knock each other down on stage.

The bandana-guy in particular is fond of lurking behind the Marshall amps and then springing out , catching the guitarist or drummer in a full-body tackle.






 They played boring music but with a lot of energy. Grimacing. Shrieky girl voices. It was fun, but the actual riffs made no sense.

All the songs had like 12 really simple mediocre riffs. Why not have 2 good riffs instead?






 (pronounced YUUYAKE NO OKA) meaning, sunset on the hill. The singer is brandishing a mic stand with the "Hill" character made out of solid iron and welded to the bottom.

I asked him about his obsession with the "hill" kanji  later. He said, "I just really like the word."

He also seemed to think I was fucking with him when I said I enjoyed his band. I had to repeat it (in japanese!) 4 times before he would accept it.

They play really fast, short songs, and this big, bear-chested bald guy sings like a tiny girl while striking macho hardcore poses.

It is the best.

The guitarist is using a toy guitar – a bean-shaped  Fernandez. I think the bass was also irregular.






 These guys work for the club so they always get on the good shows even though they are boring and generic.

Conquest for Death seemed to really like them, though, so maybe I’m missing something.






 These guys were like HARDCORE FANCLUB but without any redeeming qualities. Long, boring songs that go nowhere.

Why have so many parts that all sound the same? You’re not prog, you’re not even tech-grind. 

I detected a whiff of emo as well, but I’m not sure where from. I guess the humorless self-importance?

Plus, reggae song in the middle.


 Also, their drummer is a model: I think I saw his face on a package of hair gel.




 These guys brung it – but right in the beginning of the set the bassist attempted a jump that re-awakened an old epic knee injury and spent the whole show playing through a haze of pain.

 Robert finished the whole set AND the encore, though,  with the stoicism of a Samurai.



 Then, in a suprising  twist of fate, this guy Max appeared from out of nowhere, and the band turned into WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? (an earlier incarnation of the same band, with Kiku on guitar and Max on drums)

That’s right: a WHAT HAPPENS NEXT REVIVAL . . . .!

They did 2 or so songs.


 Below: Max’s furious intensity.


 The audience was a weird mix of  Max’s academic colleagues, old-school Tokyo punx, and the kind of dweeby  hat-loving fake-skater people that always seem to show up at Moon-step no matter who is playing.

 Nonetheless, everyone got down and beverages were consumed.





 Everybody’s enemy played – you know, since I am linking to pretty much everyone’s myspace, I shouldn’t even bother trying to describe how the bands sound.

You can listen to the bands as you read, or whatever. Right?

But at the same time, Myspace sucks so bad in a general "virtual shopping mall the kids hang out at" way that I really don’t want to be dependent on them.

Maybe I’ll describe them with their new slogan: NEGATIVE HARDCORE


 There was a lot of band-jumping and in-the-crowd singing and  smitten girls in the front row, below:

 They combine anger and humor in a good combination, fueled by energy and antics.





VITAMIN X (holland)


 These guys are insane. I know I say that about 50% of bands, but seriously – I can’t believe what I saw.

Last time I saw them was 2003. Here it is, 6 years later, and homeboy can still jump like that. It makes no sense.

I think it’s the best argument for straight-edge: If you don’t do drugs, you can still jump this high when you are over 40.

Unfortunately, you can’t put that slogan on a t-shirt or a 4-sided hoodie. Unless you are constantly jumping that high when you wear it.

It’s more of a proof-is-in-the-pudding kind of validation of sxe : you have to be there.

 Also, I should mention these guys are from fuckin’ AMSTERDAM, the legal-drug capital of Europe, which must provide some additional oomph to their edge.




 There was a lot of dancing and merry-making. Academics all in the pit.  

Shit was incredible!  There was kind of a feeling of community by the end. 

Maybe because I was drunk, but I like to think it was because the show was devoid of the "middle-age frowny-face addict veteran punks" who cross their arms and tsk tsk at any young band, sucking the fun out of the room.

In a scene as stagnant and fast-growing-old as Tokyo, with its rigid "senior-junior" (kohai/senpai) system, it’s refreshing to see a bunch of younger bands all doing it themselves, and still getting on good well-attended shows.


7 comments Tags: , , , , , ,

7 Comments so far

  1. David Enemy December 26th, 2009 9:31 pm

    Finally! I thought the gig would never make the infamous TDR!

  2. Alex December 27th, 2009 8:22 pm

    holy shit is that max ward max? on the drums? or do I have the wrong guy

  3. admin December 27th, 2009 8:33 pm

    @alex: yeah, Max 925 was in the house.

  4. Alex December 28th, 2009 10:38 am

    hah awesome, the last time I saw him he was TA’ing my courses at NYU; I never got the drummer experience though he made reference to the tokyo music scene a few times. is he at waseda now? I think that’s where he said he was headed.

  5. milton. December 28th, 2009 4:01 pm

    is there a trend of japanese hardcore bands with white guy singers? if so, i think i’ll move TOMORROW.

  6. Z December 28th, 2009 4:50 pm

    The best part of Vitamin X is even though they are straight edge, they are pro-legalization of marijuana. Also awesome is I got to watch john claude van damme’s Kickboxer in it’s entirety with these dudes.

  7. admin December 29th, 2009 12:50 am

    @z: Watched j.c.v.Damme with vitamin X? Please tell us the whole story! I will not be able to sleep properly until I hear it.
    Also, isn’t Damme from Belgium? I thought there was kind of a rivalry between belgium and the netherlands?

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