Reviews by Pushead as published in Thrasher Magazine.
E-Z-O - E-Z-O LP - Geffen Records
Hard and heavy, E-Z-O will make you jump out of your seat only to kick
your feet out from under you on the way back down. That's the kind of
rush that builds E-Z-O's momentum. Fresh out of Japan, E-Z-O's approach
mixes a definite KISS/Sweet rockin' influence with a vocalist who sounds
much like German metal screamers Klaus and Udo(Scorpions and Accept).
Masaki's voice, though, expands far beyond these influences. Plus, production
by Gene Simmons and Val Garay adds a total arena sound to this already
powerful band. Look out, this band dominates. One of the hottest hard-rockin',
metal-lickin' outfits in ages, especially on such tracks as "Kiss of Fire",
"House of 1,000 Pleasures", "Desiree" and "Flashback Heart Attack." The four-
piece E-Z-O, complete with facial designs and a dricing sound, do what the
first two KISS albums did, and on this debut LP, it's a killer change.
The following is the July 1987 installment of Puszone
Thanks to Scott Slimm for the article.
Screams of excitment roared from all around a noisy room filled
with large, flashing elecrtical boxes. A good-sized crowd was on
hand, either to challenge their competitive edge, vent frustration,
or just have some fun. This arcade was frequented by many and it
seemed the likely spot for our devious little experiment. Between Max,
as in maximillian (his parents were snobs), and I, we had rigged
a unique sort of video game. By the continual observation of enemy
ships swirling around in a descending spiral, the player would be
hypnotized. We had persuaded Chuckie-with a ten spot-to let us
install the game. he considered us jokers and figured that if we
wanted to throw our money away, he'd gladly take it plus any quarters
put in the machine. We spent about two hours faking it on the games
near our "Booby Trap"-that's what we called it-waiting for those lucky
players, until we finally got a bite. He got into the game heavily,
playing for about an hour and dropping at least ten dollars worth of
quarters before he finally stopped and walked away. With a snap of the
fingers by Max, the player quickly turned around. His eyes were
glazed and bloodshot, his face had a morbid palor. He stood there
as if in suspended animation. But he wasn't hypnotized, just on drugs.
He was a scary looking dude, so we told him he looked like a friend of
ours, mistaken identity, you know. Boy, were we liars. While all this
was happening, two young girls started to play the game. They were
really enjoying themselves, so Max and I started to watch, to see if the
game was functioning properly. If nothing else, our interest would make
the game seem popular and draw a bigger crowd. Those girls were just
letting the machine swallow their quarters, but they were not being
hypnotized. They spent about thirty bucks between the two of them
before their money was all gone. They walked away with smiles on
their faces. After about four hours of watching fifteen people empty
out their pockets without being hypnotized, Max and I were frustrated.
We decided to play the game to see what was wrong. One thing's for sure;
it was a fun game, and after about two hours Max and I had run out of money.
Neither of us felt different. Chuckie walked up to us.
"Hey, are you two jokers through?" he asked us.
"We ran out of money. It doesn't seem to work like we had hoped," Max replied.
"Listen, I closed an hour ago. I read the Puszone twice, and I've just been
waiting for you to go broke!"he said.
"What?" I shouted at him.
"You see, jokers, you were fixing to play a game on these people and my >
arrangement with you was that I'd get all the money. So i've been waiting
"True, you're right, Chuckie, but our experiment didn't work," Max said.
"Ah, but it did! You see before I opened the arcade. I re-rigged the
machine to hypnotize the players to spend all their money. So who's
laughing now, jokers. HAHAHA"
Puszone time again with a host of hot new ragers to send electrical shivers
down your flailing spine. Don't forget, that four band flexi Will
Evil Win? is still available.
Perhaps you would never know that this is a Split LP. It has covers
on both sides, one for each band, but one name is so large it grabs your
attention. That name, Heresy, is in bright orange football jersey style letters.
On the other side is Concrete Sox, who share this mosh mayhem of an LP. This
is Heresy's hard vinyl debut, and the sound here is quite a bit different
from that on the flexi. Still kicking in the pace for ultra-fast, super-sonic
noise destruction, Heresy shows more of a metallic influence in the song structures
here, with heavy riffs and powerful, deep sounds that explode suddenly into that
plane smashing, speed grinding. New vocalist John, who was the drummer of Concrete Sox,
loudly growls out throat-agonizing fury that curls your skin as the barrage strikes
down six teeth-plucking tracks. Weak production holds it back a bit, but the rapid-
fire attack will kick in your eardrums, for sure, as this is total chaos.
On the other side, Concrete Sox sounds a lot like Heresy, but has more metallic
diddleys. One thousand mile-per-hour drum smashes, whining guitar action and
harsh vocals bring the disorder to an extreme peak. Not all songs charge with
the trains; some are slow and raw, just waiting to explode, and when they do, it's
chaos. This side features five blistering cuts infested with insanity. Both
bands mix hardcore and metal and speed it up immensely. With recent member changes,
though, have come changes in each band's sound. Even at their best, they lack the
essence that captured your senses the first time around. It's worth checking out,
though on Earache.
Selfish Records is perhaps the hottest hardcore label in Japan. Owner Hitoshi
is always signing up killer bands and releasing high-energy products. His two
latest releases are true to the rule and excpetional. First is the eleven-song EP by
Deadless Muss called 860 Seconds Cooking. This record charges so rapidly,
with such raw acceleration, that it's over before you know what hit you. Produced
by Minoru of Lipcream, this has a Lipcream feel to it, much more so than the first
Deadless Muss EP. Yet, the thrash here is unique. A grinding, gritty guitar assaults
with a full force of distortion, flinging chords out madly as the drummer smashes
down upon the skins, setting a quick pace. Jubilant choruses back vocalist Gizzy,
who screams out boldly in English. most songs on this EP are sung in English, and
the words are forced tightly into each composition. Exceptionally fun, Deadless Muss
continue in the new, solid, Japanese core tradition. The other new Selfish
release is from those popular maniacs Lipcream. Entitled Nine Shocks Terror
guys, where did you get that title?), this 12" EP roars with boisterous delight. Perhaps
this is Lipcream at their best-quick pacing with vicious bites, Jha Jha barking wildly,
Naoki fingering the strings on bloodfest licks and the momentum charging so strong
you're hooked. Intense and crazed. The aggression is powerful and packed with stamina
and vigor. This record reveals the hard work of a tight outfit who fling it out fast
without losing the edge. Lipcream punches out nine banzai songs that are an untamed
zoomfest with all the right ingredients. Great! Need I Say more? Both available
O.K., kiddies, take off yer Slayer shirts, for soon they will be replaced by the Bay
Area's speedcore thrash metal demolition team of Sacrilege B.C.(B.C. for Berkeley,
California). These guys wail it up, raging warfare and pounding on your brain as the
humming, speedy guitar notes echo in your mind. Fast, wuick, annihilating, frantic,
bombastic, non-hesitating-whichever way you want to put it, Sacrilege B.C.'s weapon is
loaded and firing mayhemic ammunition everywhere. It's a clamorous treat for you
bangmongers. A thunderous storm of heavy bellicose power, that is pumped up and richly
textured by a deep howling vocalist whose words soar outward with tongue-lashing intent.
Barbaric guitar rawness bulldozes with strong jolts and devastating blows, glisening
with forceful, metallic chills and continuous hardcore speed drills. The licks here
are tight and electric with a flair for laughing mayhem. Chord after chord, the
kerranging never stops. Sacrilege B.C.'s debut LP Party With God will thrust
the thrash hammer down upon the brutal speed metal nail. Alchemy Records.
If you're into photozines, here's a nice home-made issue out of Germany
that features a host of unknown photographers shooting hardcore bands from all
over the world. The fourth issue of Breakout is well designed and has
some nice halftones. Some of the bands captured in this issue include Blast,
Gevernment Issue, C.O.C., S.N.F.U., Conflict, Terveet Kadet, Raw Power, Ramones,
and many more. The multitude and variety of photos offered may explain why photozines
are becoming quite popular. Plus. there's no language barrier.
After selling other bands' records for quite some time, Karl Etter of Over the
Top fanzine decided to put out a record of his own on his newly formed Over the Top label. He has compiled a sampler of some of today's newest
and definitely most ripping hardcore bands from all over the world. The project is
titled Apathy Never and he scraped together enough funding to press 1,000
copies, so this will definitely be a sought after, hard-to-find release. Karl filled
up the grooves with Depression, Half Life, G.A.S.H., Mottek, Kauneus & Terveys,
Fair Warning, Fuck Geez, Sons of Ishmael, Dehumanizers, So Much Hate and Sweden's
speed merchants, Raped Teenagers. All totaled there's about 48 minutes worth of music.
The end result is an amazing slab of fresh talent and aggression, since Etter has
compiled a handful of outstanding tracks without having to rely on any "name" bands
to sell Apathy Never. Compilations come and go, but when they come from the
heart, you know they're sincere, which means the selections have got to be good.
Check into it.
The third coming of Corrosion of Conformity hallows that intense, raw dirge of heavy
guitar wallop that Woody Weathermen grits hit teeth for. Definitely the highlight in
all it's glory, Woody's guitar sound buzzes with a ferocity that shatters windows and
loosens fillings. Mike Dean still surges a brutal bass boom forward, providing that
deep C.O.C. noise blast. And, of course, Reed's still smashing and bashing out the
power through the thick-skinned drum heads. What's new is Simon Bob Sinister (ex-Ugly
Americans) up front, thrusting out the vocals. Even though his voice is a bit different
than Mike's, it fits well with this heavy speed barrage and is, in fact, a bit faster
than I expected. Technocracy is the title and there's something quite disturning
about this 12", which promises ten songs but actually only offers four. Both sides
feature the same plate and you've got two different labels on the back jacket. Looks
more like an obligatory out-of-a-contract release than something to bite your teeth into.
True, it's good, lean and tight in the C.O.C. tradition, but when both sides have the
same songs, it smells a bit fishy. All i can say is, it smokes, but watch the price.
I'm sure there will be a host of new material out soon. Available on Death/Metalblade/
Combat Core Records.