Tokyo Damage Report

zeni geva, gallhammer, pigmen

  fri Dec. 4th, 2009 @ earth-dom


This was an odd show because ZENI GEVA is famous overseas but gets very very few props in their native land. When I got here, the first band was starting, there were only 3 people in the audience, Mr. Yoshida (ruins’ and ZG drummer) was in the corner of the bar calmly typing in to a laptop, and ZG leader KK Null was passed out  by the merchandise table. This was an absolutely retarded turn of events and i resolved then-and-there to drink all the vodka for the people the should of been there but weren’t.




 From Hell play around a LOT but this was my first time to see them. They are pretty silly. Their vocalist used to be in an awesome band called ATOMIC FIRE BALL like 10 years ago, and time has not been kind to him. He had baggy hemp raver pants and looked like he had flunked out of rehab. Sometimes he would scream into the microphone and not actually be making any sound.  But at least they had an original concept: EMO DEATH METAL.

Not like the screamy, fallout-boy emo. I mean the vintage late-’90s super-sincere, barely-there, so-wimpy-we-can’t-hit-the-strings-of-the-guitar-loud-enough-to-produce-notes kind of emo. I never bothered to learn the names of those bands but they were fucking everywhere. 

Beat Happening? 

Mumbley, sincere, pretentious shit like that? 

"It was my last innocent summer!" kind of Emo.

Mixed with death metal.

Silly but I give them credit for at least trying something. But then halfway through the set they changed to a Pantera cover band. The bassist was like "This is more like it!" and struck a series of "hey ladies!" poses and flung his locks around.





 I already wrote about pigmen a dozen times. They did their thing with a bit more enthusiasm than usual. They have an album called

sayonara kusosekai (goodbye, shit-world!) which is a wonderful title.


 The bassist had a sideways haircut and a bass that doubled as a desk. If I was him, I would have glued like a pen dispenser and an in/out box to it.



 I guess I’m the last person to know this, but Gallhammer is just bass and drums now. The guitarist MIKA – i was told – moved to another band called KOROSUKE

(殺助) (literally, "kill and save." I think they took the name from an old movie title? Can anyone confirm or deny?)

Anyway,  the music was still good but didn’t really sound like gallhammer anymore. I have mixed feelings. I think – when it came to performances –  Mika was the scariest person in the band despite being 4 foot tall – so I miss her!

But on the other hand, I also think that the better she got on guitar, the more boring her riffs got. The riffs on the first demo (and I know, no one likes the "I only like the first demo" guy. But bear with me. . .. ) the riffs on the first demo were really dissonant and she was playing all wrong chords and it was rad.  Then she got competent and boring, so that’s why I don’t mind gallhammer as a two piece. 

Oh, plus ONLY THE FIRST DEMO WAS GOOD, SO FUCK YOU. That felt great to say.


The new band is a bit more sounding like SLEEP (Vivian was sporting a Sleep t-shirt too. She should of worn a nightgown with a little floppy hat though, because it’s bad manners to directly compare yourself to SLEEP and you will always lose.)

But the main problem with the new songs is that the riffs don’t loop long enough. It’s not hypnotic enough.


 Unlike Ms. Mika, however, Risa (drums) actually got BETTER as she got better. Not only can she actually play now, but her performance is really confident and over-the-top. All over-hand drum hits, her arms totally go over her head with every thud, but in a way that is graceful and not spaztic like when I try to play that style.





If there’s one thing better than ZENI GEVA , it’s ZENI GEVA with Ruins’ MR. YOSHIDA on drums –  it turns out that he actually recroded an album with them back in 1990 (MAXIMUM MONEY MONSTER), so this is not the first time for him to play with them.

Oddly, though, they didn’t do tracks off of MAXIMUM MONEY MONSTER- They had the same setlist as their show in 2007, : mostly songs from FREEDOM BONDAGE. It was still rad , but I wanted to hear the older stuff that had more  of a repetitive groove to it. Specifically I wanted to hear GODKILL/KILLSONIC which is basically 15 minutes of a 2-note riff bludgeoning you, followed by another 15 minutes of the same riff with free-jazz played over it.

(speaking of maximum money monsters. . .I  just found out that the band took their name from an old comic book about a guy who went from being homeless to being a huge corporate titan and also yakuza lord by using money to corrupt and compromise those around him. Basically the premise is that money wins over love, loyalty, and humanity every time. So there’s that.)

If you don’t know anything about ZG, start with TOTAL CASTRATION, which is basically the SWANS with KK Null doing his best "daimyo leading the troops into battle" voice, and then go and buy  FREEDOM BONDAGE which is more prog-metal but still really demented. It’s the GOOD kind of prog, with odd meters and jerky off-beat rhythms, not the bad kind with synthesyzers and falsetto vocals.  The music became more technical but they still use the guitars/bass/keyboards as percussion instruments.

And if you don’t know anything about SWANS, then you are a failure and I can’t help you. Go  read a blog about anime or  USB devices or whatever failure stuff you are good at.


By this time a decent audience had finally accumulated – but it was still mostly white hipsters instead of the Mongol horde that ZG deserves. 

Through a mixture of good luck and dilligent planning, tonight was both my first booze in 5 days AND my first physical exercise in 5 days, so me and the vodka had a kind of popeye/spinach thing going on.  I felt like I could bust a Silver Surfer and jump on the flask of booze and fly around the room, dodging the deadly riffs. By the time ZG started, I had worked myself into a full berzerker mode and was headbanging so hard that my whole body would whip over the "front bar" of the "kiddie pit" and I’d hit my head on the monitor speakers. Plus screaming along even though I didn’t know the words.  

Pretty sure I ruined the concert for those around me, but they ought to of been rocking out  harder in the first place, so jigou jitoku, as we say.






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1 Comment so far

  1. szaszha January 17th, 2010 11:53 am

    here’s to ruining the show for those around you! i hate it when everyone just stands there. it’s even worse when its a bunch of people standing there like they dont give a fuck, and then there are like 10 people with cameras all over the place taking glamour shots of the band! i’m like “look at the crowd! no one even likes this shit and you are getting enough shots for a fucking wedding album!” then bitches get pissed and pour drinks on you when you hit them with your hair or bump into them while you’re rocking out. that has happened to me so many times! i’m like “bitch if you werent going to drink it just give it to me, dont throw it at me!”

    but, i usually experience this at gothic/techno type shows. so it is expected that everyone will be too overdressed or too cool (read: too insecure and embarassed) to rock out and have a good time except me. but at a fucking prog metal show? those assholes should be ashamed of themselves for just standing there.

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