July 1988

The following is the July 1988 installment of Puszone

Thanks to Scott Slimm for the article.

Odd. It was like the worst nightmare. A dream I could not awake from.
And stranger still, I couldn't slap myself to see if I'd wake up since I
had no control over myself. It had been three weeks and I was still in the
game mode. Stuck inside a television, lying in some blind utopia-but not for me.
It was always cold, dark...I had to wait for the surge of electricity to bring
me to life. I was also very lucky that my brother was still addicted to this
game, otherwise I'd be locked away in the circuits on a dusty shelf somewhere.
The game was till engaged in the machine, though, so my mind was still functioning.
My body was stiff, rigid as a board. I couldn't feel, I couldn't see. A
thousand thoughts careened and collided within my mind-the past, the turmoil,
the happy times, being crazy, selfishness, ruthlessness, sexual fantasies.
Fear was an icy chill I couldn't warm. Where was my brother? Why wasn't he
playing the game? I couldn't handle my thoughts much longer. I was scared.

The hum zipped through. I was used to the electrical rushes now. The music
sounded and it as game time again. I saw my brother, zombie-like, in front of
the tube. I could see movement behind him. He seemed to be talking but I
couldn't make out what he was saying. My arms and legs moved erratically.
Sometimes I would jump, sometimes duck, and sometimes even throw punches.
I felt no pain, although I saw demons kill me. Then I was alive again, my
power growing stronger, but feeling no different. Suddently I heard a siren;
it was from outside of the game. My brother heard it too and turned his head.
This was the first time I heard sounds that weren't associated with the television.
My brother looked back at the game and reached down to the machine. Everything
went black. Again, I was locked into this loneliness, with no way to reach out,
nothing to touch. Why had I heard the siren? What did it mean?

Again, the hum sounded the alarm and my eyes saw light. Two strange faces
looked at me. They watched with studious intent, but they did not play. My
stomach twisted, sending bubbles of frustration through my chest. In my mind
I shouted to them "Give me life!" Their eyes bugged open as though they had
heard me. They stared at me, and then it all went black again. This time
something was wrong. My mind was fading. Someone must be unplugging the game.
No! I couldn't fight. Darkness quickly overtook my brain. I fought, but it
wasn't enough. I was gone.

"I'm sorry ma'am, he just didn't make it out of the coma..." the doctor said.

"He's too young to die!" The mother sobbed loudly.

"We see this everyday. Young people on drugs, go overboard, never look
back, become lost and confused. When they take too much, there's not
really that much we can do. The potency of today's drugs are just too
dangerous." The nurse said.

"Why did he scream beore he died?" the brother asked.

"Probably a last attempt at life before the body ceased to function,"
replied the doctor.

"Mom, if I would've known he was on drugs when we were playing the video game,
I would've told you. The whole time, he kept saying 'white lightning burns',
then he just dropped toward the TV," the brother said.

"White lightning. That's the slang term for this new drug that is the
number one killer of young people," the nurse reported.

"Gee, Mom, I'm going to miss him," the brother said as tears rolled down
his face and onto his grey cotton T-shirt, which was screened in black to form
the word "Puszone".

One of the hardest things to accomplish in the Japanese music market
is putting out a D.I.Y.(Do It Yourself) or an independent release.
It costs so much to release a record and the retail price is phenomenally
high (along with the cost of living). Plus, the Japanese hardcore market
is being monopolized, so its exciting and rewarding to see an individual
put out an excellent compilation album, or omnibus, as the Japanese have
labeled it. Zigyaku of Gudon has released three or four Eps in the past,
all in small press runs, but this is his first LP. Entitled My Meat's
Your Posion
, this disc features some of the hottest talent in Japan today
as well as hot tracks by several outfits. Six bands from four different
areas of Japan make up the record, including Lipcream (Tokyo), Systematic
Death (Yokohama), Outo and S.O.B. (Osaka) and Gudon and Chicken Bowels
(Hiroshima). Here are twenty-two tracks of forceful, aggressive hardcore
that whip up a storm, with mostly fast powerful doses of grinding chaos.
Lipcream is in fine form, and becoming one of Japan's hardest working bands
with their racing speed, Naoki's gritty guitar sound and Jha Jha's raspy,
throaty vocals. Outo still captures the senses with their rapid assault and
harmonious chants and choruses. It's a speedcore barrage from start to finish
as Butcher puts on a screaming tongue fest. Katsumi's distorted guitar licks
whine loudly with raunchy feedback. Outo is definitely one of the best in this
genre. S.O.B. continues to produce their savage blurr of quickness and Tottsuan's
tongue tied vocal rantings. These S.O.B.ers launch a full throttle, no-holds-
barred attack with a cover of the Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop." Since this is an
independent release, the press runs are even smaller than what you'd expect,
but the effort is superior. Despite having such a small scene, Japan is turning
out some of the best hardcore in the world.

Here we go with egotistical, sarcastic speedcore run amok. The band is Spazztic
Blurr, the cover is pathetic and the lyrics are mostly about themselves.
Supposedly the members are from some band in Oregon, but Dig flowed heavy cash
to keep that name out of this review. A wise idea, since this comedy slab is
better than their serious release. I see tears flowing now. When this disc
arrived in the mail, I took one look, caught the name and said, "What is Earache
up to? Is this more snarecore crap?" The stylus devirginized the vinyl and
delivered a rank, pathetic intro. I'm getting impatient...then the real stuff
shot to the forefront and the true Spazztic Blurr appeared. Like a homemade video,
the Spazz's do a little of just about everything, but as terrible as the
performance may sound, it's still fun. Could this be the first comedy speedcore
release (or are they all?), mocking their sound and scene while still doing it
better than some of the serious bands? Of course, there's a lot of fast stuff
and pretentious leads, but the contents-screams, chants, monologs, inconsistent
musical rhythms and general stupidity-combine to create a wacky, enjoyable platter.
Sort of like the ultimate thrash party album. Hey, let's be stupid with Spazztic
Blurr and sing along. it has a tight feel, an interesting balance, and it's really
not overdone. This isn't fit for the barbeque or social events, although it
could be that this was thought up at some crazy pool party. either way you look
at it, turn up the volume and crank out the idiotic noise since it's loads of
laughs and not a banging headache. Anyway, I'm sure Spazztic Blurr will soon follow
their idols, stop wearing spandex and start wearing upturned baseball caps and
shorts, perhaps taking the joke too seriously just for the cash. Could this be
real? Nah. Spazz out and get Befo da Album, the new one by Spazztic Blurr, the
band with the deceptive name on Earache.

In the Chicago vicinty exists a handful of quality bands with unusual
names pumping out a forceful sound. Among those ranks is Impulsive Manslaughter,
a potent thrash 'n'bash ensemble whose first EP paved some turbulent ground.
Now, on their first LP, He Who Laughs Last...Last Alone, I.M. further
explore the hardcore realm, with extreme results. Lots of creative juices
surge into a hectic round of volleying thrusts and chaotic speed on a harmonious
ground. While these songs are raw, brutal and abrasive, the different vocals
spread the action into different parts, which are sometimes annoying, sometimes
melodic and sometimes too fast for song structure. The lyrics blurr out on the
ultra speed tracks, but on the slower tracks the vocals keep the pace and the power.
The guitar and bass mix in some pumping energy with rhythmic exertion, but with a
snare drum mixed too loud, that feeding frenzy is lost below the banging. Side A
is definitely the highlight here, except for the humorous part on Side B where
the guitarist goes into a lead solo, the singer says shut up and the guitarist does.
Impulse Manslaughter strikes with a lot of force and a bit of adversity. This is
a good platter. On Underdog.

An Itialian hardcore band who decided to keep their roots and run a bit
on the metal edge proves to be quite the cranium cruncher. Upset Noise's latest
release Nothing More to Be said!!! kicks in nine solid cuts of furious assaults.
Really biting hard on heavy, crude guitar licks, the songs have an uptempo feel
that has a lot of "chunka chunkas" and thick whines. Not too fast and not really
heavy metal, Upset Noise's roots shine through in their abrasive compositions and
the metal effect shows the power. This unit quickly catches the drift bands like
the English Dogs cranked out. The mix really brings out the guitar, and the vocals
echo loudly above it all in a raging roar. The structure of each song is an ear grabber,
and this unit plays tight with mean aggression, shoving all that power right to
the forefront. With this change in direction, Upset Noise has really taken a step ahead.
On Hageland Records.