Reviews by Pushead as published in Thrasher Magazine.
GASTUNK - Under the Sun LP - Vice Records
A great, painted gatefold sleeve introduces you to Gastunk's second effort,
which is an aggressive metal assault. The members of Gastunk have combined their
hardcore roots with a rock structure that shows crafty changes and powerful
potential. Baki's voice sears outward with a unique, operatic quality. Straight-
forward metal guitar riffs slice 'n dice, the drums smash hard and the beat will
get you bangin' the noggin'. Good production makes for a solid eruption. Another
promising Japanese band.
The following is the November 1987 installment of Puszone
Thanks to Scott Slimm for the article.
The road stretched on forever, an endless line of black asphalt carving
through the desert. There wasn't much to see in the darkness outside
the bus window as we sped down the road. My name is Roy Capshaw. I
was traveling on an excursion across America by hte "Hound." I am a
loner and would rather be by myself, so the window seat suited my needs
well, as I watched occasional lights flash by. There was an empty seat
next to me, so I wasn't too cramped, but I was sure that bny the next stop,
I wouldn't be so lucky. Most of the passengers aboard were middle-aged or
older. There were a few transients and a very quiet couple with
a baby. Apart from the child, I seemed to be the youngest. I had just
turned twenty. Seconds seem like hours on a bus. It is a very slow,
boring way to travel, but I had to endure it. I didn't have proper funds
for an airplane, and I was a bit skeptical about flying. Air pockets and
other turbulence always frightened me a bit, so I was content on the
safety of the bus.
The window next to me was smudged where I had rested my face against
it. The light reflected off of it rather strangely. It's odd what
you notice when you have so much idle time. I set my head against the
window again and started to doze off. Sleep would be a great way to
pass the time. About fifteen minutes into what started to be a good nap,
the bus came to a jolting stop and I was awakened. The bus had stopped
to pick up more passengers and re-fuel. We had twenty minutes to stretch.
I piled some of my stuff onto my seat so that no one would take it and
I worked my way down the aisle, out of the bus and into the terminal.
The light was bright, so I squinted. I had become used to the darkness
on the bus. I wandered around not really doing anything, just stretching
out my legs and getting some releif from the cramped position I had
been sitting in for some time. I bought some orange juice and slowly sipped
it down. The cold liquid felt good. I looked around and a newsstand caught
my eye. Time was running out, so I quickly got over there to check out
some magazines. i found three to my liking, paid for them and hurried back
to the bus. luckily, my seat and the vacant one next to it were still there.
I was all smiles. The bus started up and it was back to the journey again,
but just as we were about to pull out, a last minute passenger got on.
I hoped she would not see the empty seat next to me and would choose some
place else to sit. But I wasn't that lucky. She was a somewhat attractive
woman in her late thirties who was nicely dressed and of medium height.
"Is this seat taken?" she asked politely.
"No ma'am, it's not," I replied. "It's yours if you wish."
"Thank you," she said, 'thank you very much."
She sat down and adjusted her dress trying to get comfortable. She
fidgeted about, elbowing me occasionally. It didnt bother me much,
since it was impossible to be completely comfortable on this bus and
I really didn't have the heart to tell her to stop. Five minutes later
I was a bit less comfortable, but now I had some magazines to read so I
was content. The woman tapped me on the shoulder.
"Hello, my name is Maggie." she said softly.
"Hi. Nice to meet you, Maggie. I'm Roy, Roy Capshaw."
"How far are you going?" she asked.
"I'll be on this bus another two days," I said. "It will be a long journey
"Not me," she replied. "I'm off to see my mother who lives about two
hundred miles away."
"Well, I hope you have a pleasant trip," I told her.
"Thank you very much," she said.
It wasn't much of a conversation but it was enoughfor me since I
wanted to get into my new magazines. I reached above me and turned
on the light. Luckily it was a bright bulb. I hate those dim lights
where you have to strain so hard to read past the shadows. Kicking back,
for waht I could, I opened the magazine and started to browse. Again the
woman tapped me on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, do you know the time?"
"I'm sorry," I said. "I don't carry a watch."
"Well, thank you anyway."
I was a bit puzzled by this woman. She seemed edgy, maybe disturbed
about something. She was constantly moving about in her seat and, to
my disliking, she kept watching me but tried to pretend that she wasn't.
I went back to the magazine, not wanting to concern myself with her.
I turned a few more pages and found a story that attracted my eye. It was
illustrated with some very good graphics. I had just started to read
the first paragraph when i got that strange feeling I was being watched.
I glanced to my right slightly, and, sure enough, Maggie was looking
over my shoulder with this strange look on her face. When she realized
i was looking at her, she turned her head, faced the front of the bus
and looked about aimlessly. I turned my head back and started reading
the story again. With a quick glance, the woman was looking over my shoulder
again. This time I paid no heed to it and continued to read the story.
until a piercing scream rocketed into my eardrum.
"Only someone possed by satan would draw disgusting garbage like
that!" she wailed into my ear. For a woman who spoke so softly,
this was quite a shock to me and the others on the bus, whose attention
she had gathered. I was embarrassed by what had just taken place.
"I beg your pardon!" I replied sternly.
"Look at that drawing." she said. "Why would a person draw such a
horrible thing when there is so much beauty in the world?"
"Excuse me?" I questioned her. Then came the holier-than-thou spiel.
"What is with this world? We live in such filth. The devil is everywhere.
The bible was right, the end is near, satan possesses the non-believers.
There is such good in the world. Why the death images? What is wrong
with people? Just listen to the music-sex, sex, sex-and now there is AIDS
to add to the devil's work. Satan has had his fun and now God is punishing
all who follow the king of the underworld-drugs, drugs, drugs, which leads
to murder. Why don't these people go to church and enter God's kingdom? It
sickens me that people would publish images like that in a magazine that
anyone can buy. That promotes violence, rape, homicide and satan!" She carried
"Wait a minute, ma'am. What..." i was cut off.
"Something has to be done!" she yelled. "It is everywhere. What
happened to love? Our lives are being destroyed by the work of satan-
prostitues in the street, cursing on the corners, terrorists threatening
innocent lives, and corruption in the government and the police department.
The devil has risen and his fire burns in the hearts of man. The end
is near. Who can you trust? Only God, only God."
"Hey, c'mon lady, what gives? what is..."I was cut off again.
"You should boycott all magazines that publish that kind of stuff.
We need to protect the young from such filth. Let's see the beauty in
the world. Praise the Lord, worship God. All you sinners must repent and
end this work of satan!" She was really screaming now. it had gained
the attention of the entire bus.
"Quiet down back there," the bus driver yelled back, "or you're off
What was going on here, what was this happening? It was sure making
a boring trip somewhat more interesting, even though i didn't care
for this screeching woman who was making my right ear ring. I looked
back at the illustration that had gotten her going to see what was so
disturbing and satanic. It was a fine illustration in black and white
that showed skulls and bones strewn about after a war. The illustration
reflected a scene in the story which was about the results of a nuclear war.
"What makes a person waste such talent on this kind of work?" she asked me.
"I'm sorry ma'am." I said, "I see nothing offensive or satanic about this
"You must be one of the devil's children!" She screamed and held her cross
I couldn't help it. This kind of scene doesn't happen to me that often,
and when she held that cross at me, I pretended like I was melting, slowly
withering in my seat. Suddenly I started laughing, a few passengers around
also started laughing. It was a humorous moment, but Maggie didn't think so.
"Go ahead and laugh!" she screeched. "You'll burn in hell."
Well, enough was enough, and I'd had enough of this self-righteous woman
and her fanatical beliefs. Besides, her voice was too loud for how close
she was to me.
"Listen, lady," i said, "calm down, relax. There is no reason to yell, and
stop preaching your irrational, holier-than-thou beliefs to my face.
How can anyone take you seriously? You're one-sided and scared."
"Of course, I'm scared." she said. "When you see all this violence, this
destruction, you know satan's work is almost complete, and this is God's country."
"Now, Maggie, let's start at the beginning. You panicked at this illustration
and claimed that only someone possessed by satan could draw that. But how can
you make such a statement? There is nothing satanic about this illustration."
I quietly said.
"Yes there is!" she bellowed back. "Look at the skulls, the evil way the lines
are arranged, the image of death. There's probably even subliminal suggestive
items in the line work glorifying satan's realm of terror!"
"What?" I questioned her. "You're reading something into the illustration
that's not there. It's an image of what the effects of war are, not satanic
"And what is war?" she asked. "It's the work of the devil. Satan tricks God's
people into fighting against each other, taking innocent lives in the quest for
power, to rule a land that only God can rule!"
"Maggie, how come most of the wars in the history of the world have been
religious wars? Followers of two different religions fighting against each
other? Even today the wars in Ireland and the Middle East are religious wars.
It has nothing to do with satan. And what about the evangelist wars on T.V.?
The con people into believing in their church, their way, and support their
causes, but they're all as fake as the next."
"That's not true!" she replied. "The ministers of television are God's
people spreading God's word. You don't know what you're talking about."
"Believe what you want, but that industry is crumbling because it is
false and has been used improperly to fool the public. do you, Maggie,
feel that it is fair that common people should be hypnotized by the
fear of satan and death? is it fair to support the television evangelists
who want your money for God, while telling you to pass judgement on
others because they might be different from you? While leading you
to believe that if you follow them you'll go to heaven? Isn't that a
hard promise for them to guarantee?" I asked.
"That's you opinion," she replied.
"And don't you think it's unfair to pass judgement on material items
such as illustrations, music, or fashion, to name a few, because you feel
it is wrong?" I asked her.
"If it's satanic, it's satanic." she spoke loudly.
"And don't you think that all people have fears of their own, are
afraid to face death, and might approach it a bit differently than you?
Perhaps they express their fear in their work to try and tell people
that they are not alone and others feel the same as they do. They see
the horrors of death and fear, and instead of hiding it within themselves
they bring it outward, expressing it openly. "I said.
"Yes, it's a world of fear," she replied, "but violence is satan's work,
and satan runs amok in this land."
"I would tend to disagree, Maggie," I said. "Violence is not satan's
work, but the work of fear. In the movies, violence is popular perhaps
because it captivates people's fear, maybe even helps them understand fear.
Since we live in a world of fear, death and love..."
"No!" she spoke angrily. "Violence promotes violence. Our children should
not be subjected to those violent, bloody movies or drawings like those
in your magazines. The children should be brought up to see the beauty
of the world and feel the love of God."
"The children should see the beauty of the world, but we cannot
hide the real violence from them for the rest of their lives. We
cannot hide fear, death, war and other human conditions from them,
only to have them find out later and question them. If the world is
to be a better place the children must know what its problems are so
that they can work together as they grow up to make it a better place.
We can't shelter children from what truly exists."
"Yes we can!" she yelled. "God will protect them if they obey him and
stay away from satanic individuals like you and your non-religious
beliefs. You should be ashamed of yourself, sinner! And all those who
are like you!"
"I guess if you close your mind. Maggie, you'll never see that, no matter
how different someone is, they have feelings and fears. People can
enjoy life, make mistakes, acquire wisdom and face life on a day to day
basis without hiding from the truth of the world. These people don't create
scapegoats to blame for what's wrong in the world. They struggle to survive.
They create to continue; they strive for a better tomorrow. They do not
live in fear in some Utopia illusion like you seem to. These people live
until the day they die, no matter what their belief is, no matter how
they express it. Right of wrong, they've tried."
"Shut up!" she screamed. "I don't want to hear any more of this devil
talk. I will work to abolish your kind and what you represent. My children
will be raised in God's land and be taught that satan is bad and that your
type is satan!"
"O.K. That's it!" the bus driver said. "The next stop you're off!"
With that Maggie shut up, got up and moved to the back of the bus.
The driver watched her slide into a new seat and shook his head in frustration.
Maggie's yelling had stirred up a big commotion on the bus. She had attracted
everyone's attention. I remained quiet and looked out the window into
the night. I thought to myslef how strange it was that religious beliefs
took such a hold on people like Maggie and how strong her fear was.
I didn't think it was right or wrong; I was just curious. I picked up another
magazine and flipped it open. The bus pulled into a small town called
Lovelock, Nevada. Oddly the bus station was next to the Sinbad Hotel.
I guess the religious war goes on. I looked down again at my magazine.
It had flopped open to the Puszone. I looked around. I was glad Maggie didn't
see that, or it would have been round two of a never-ending battle. Will there
ever be peace among opinionated people?