Reviews by Pushead as published in Thrasher Magazine.
THE MISSION - Children LP - Polygram Records
It's a windy night in Los Angeles. The Mission are in the US again, this
time for a few 'label' gigs to introduce the new album. The magic of The Mission
came alive that night as it does on their third LP. Like their show, the album
starts off with the excellent "Beyond the Pale" and continues with a host of
hits. "Tower of Strength", "Kingdom Come", "Child's Play", and "Heat." This is
definitely a fine hour for The Mission. The music is sweet and relaxed, a dreamy
ensemble of guitars and Wayne's passionate vocals. John Paul Jones produced the
album, and there is a Led Zeppelin feel. It sounds like "Physical Graffiti" only
not as hard rocking, more in the experimental sense of chord and rhythm
progression. J.P.J's input is a fine addition. Simon and Wayne's guitar work is
superb, each song captivates the senses with acoustic, 12-string and electric
guitars and mandolin pieces. Craig's bass is upfront, strong and has a thick sound.
Smiling Micky Mish pounds the skins with a purpose and uses a good drum machine
program in spots. The last album introduced the mind to the aura of The Mission,
this Children release possesses the body, and the beautiful melodies hold
the edge and bring on continual enchantment.
The following is the June 1988 installment of Puszone
Thanks to Scott Slimm for the article.
Every day it seemed to happen. It doesn't really occur at the same
time, but once it starts, all control is lost. Can't really say what
its magnetic pull is, but the obsessive demand is there. Like a hungry
lust that sucks you in, all sense of reality is lost and snxiety and
tension slip away. There is this special chair, simple in form, comfortable
of solid oak construction, that I have placed in front of the square, the
square that means nothing unless electrical juices are flowing through it.
It's a forty-incher, a real projection model with slightly better than average
resolution. The dots seem bigger, and the best attribute, naturally, is the
huge picture. The television is gigantic, larger than life. I never fancied
myslef a television addict; the shows just never held my attention. Yet the
thing was in the room. My younger brother had gotten one of those newfangled,
ultramodern video game units for the forty-incher. He played it with consistent
passion, day after day, in search of the conquering element. His eye-hand
coordination was excellent. Each game further sharpened his ability. One day
he convinced me to play against him at some new game he had been frantically
playing for a week. I accepted. I thought I'd give it a whirl. I lost
instantly. It was total embarrassment. A part of my self-respect was shattered.
The frustration made me attempt it again. Like the first time, I was wiped out.
My brother laughed. I watched him run through it like it was so simple. It made
me angier, yet I was still curious. The challenge drew me in. I tried again.
I faired better. I was getting it down. My desire grew. My brother saw that.
He backed off so I could attempt a singles game. I started to understand the
controls; the buttons were becoming part of me. My brain responded instantly.
I never even looked at the controls, only the fourty-inch screen. My lips formed
a smaile, I felt relaxed. This was great therapy. I was hooked. The after-hours
sessions to three or four in the morning just pushed my desire. I started to forget
my responsibilities in my conquest of this machine. Was it controlling me or was I
controlling it? It was definately part of me. One night was very dark and stormy.
The rain smashed against the window and there I was, in my favorite oak chair,
controls in my lap, pushing buttons and watching images disappear and reappear on
the screen. I could hear the crack of lightning bolts being whipped to the ground
outside. I heard the lightning hit the house. It made the game all the more exciting.
I was grinning from ear to ear. The colors flashed brightly before me then suddenly
went off as a loud crack sounded outside. The power was out. It flickered on and off,
but no life came to the screen. I was upset. Sitting back, I arched my head to
the left to glance toward the window when I saw a white flash hurtling toward me.
A lightning bolt jutted through the window. No time to react. It clobbered me in
the back, pushing me into the fourty-inch television, which seemed to liquify as I
hit the screen. The television sucked me in. I felt my back burning and my
consciousness fading. I passed out.
My head ached. I tried to move but I seemed frozen. I tried to open my eyes,
but there was total darkness. Suddenly I heard the video game theme song
and my vision returned. I was looking straight into my brother's eyes. He
had the video game controls in his hands and he was positioned in front of the screen.
Then the horror struck me. I was inside the game. I was the character. What
fate was this? I looked upward to see the game's logo. It was the game I had been
playing...Puszone. A zap went through me. I looked at my brother as he pushed
the start button. Across my chest it read "Player One Ready." And suddenly my
arms moved and I began to run, my brother at the controls!
Now,now it's only Puszone time, ha,ha,ha! with a few new choice morsels.
Interesting seven-inch here with a beautiful abstract color cover. Put out
by the band itself, this is a limited release on color vinyl by none other
than Canada's S.N.F.U. These two songs, entitled "She's Not on the Menu"
and "Life of a Bag Lady" show a wild side of S.N.F.U. "Life of a Bag Lady"
recorded in 1982, bursts forth with an aggressively rapid pace, charging and
pounding, never letting up. It is perhaps one of S.N.F.U.'s fastest recorded
tracks. The guitars are raw and vicious, and Chi's vocals are cruder with snappy
tones. A very enjoyable sound that pumps up the adrenalin. The A side is a
familiar favorite, this version being a "Dunce Mix" and very funky. Heavy bass
chords are at the attention of the mix. Though completely contrasting, these
two songs are potent and as vital as the two albums. The lyrics to each song are
printed on the labels-another touch that makes this a unique release by S.N.F.U. and
a rare find considering that only 500 were pressed and S.N.F.U. sold them at
gigs throughout Canada.
Since seven-inchers are becoming a dying breed (Soon to be followed by the vinyl
album-the cassette will probably take over as the major medium for the independent market
and those who wish to "do it yourself") we'll review a few more before they're gone.
Mass Appeal from Australia have done it again. What's with these guys? They
have really got the feeling in their blood! Entitled The Bar of Life, with all-
around nice art by ben Brown, the two tracks here rip it up. The screeching guitar intro
to "Fun Again" sends chills up your spine as the tempo speeds up to an attack of speed
without overdoing it. The guitar sound is a gritty, raw, disturbing noise, but it grinds
so effectively, works so well and the stamina, well, it's been awhile since a hardcore
band captured the true flavor. The composition of "Fun Again" is well thought out.
Good changes, nice beats, vocals in the right sections-the overall attack really smashes
you in the forehead. A classic for 1988. The B side, "Are You Alright?" prepares to
blast with a bass and drum intro, then introduces guitar from which the feedback is totally
chaotic. A short, calmed-down break follows and then the disorder continues. Wild
guitar roars, manic screaming and out of control drum smashes-crazed all the way to the end,
this song pushes hard. What's unique about Mass Appeal is their strong style; it doesn't
sound like everything else coming out of the mold. This record is a lot of fun, and it
should get a lot of plays.
I first saw Brain Death on a video Takahide of Gudon sent me. It was a summer gig
in Hiroshima; this band was playing seering, fast music with a steel edge but a totally
Japanese style. The singer was screeching insanely. Nothing unusual, really, except the
singer was a girl and this sure wasn't a Bangles approach. Her voice was high but like
a continuous scream, not melodic, just a power-packed wail. She, Sachi, has to be the raddest
female hardcore singer since the Comes(Another Japanese band). And now Brain Death
has released a 7" EP. Entitled Personal Affair, it features eight mayhemic tracks.
From Osaka, Japan, now known for the manic combustion of bands like Outo and S.O.B., Brain
Death totally annihilate the decibels with a sonic blast of fast, persistent speedcore.
Sachi's vocals can be nerve racking, but they work well with the assault of sound, and
takes you by surprise. It's insanity pushed to the limit. Anotehr band proves that
current Japanese hardcore is the cream of the crop for the moment. When Sachi's voice
pops the wax from your ears, it's nothing like what you expect. On Selfish.
Now, I have this friend, and when he hears this kind of stuff, his eyes bulge out,
he starts a heavy sweat, he stands motionless, and he keeps repeating a certain
four-letter word. This is all before he goes into convulsions and spazzes out all
over the room. So, believe me, I'm gonna get the video camera prepared when I play
this Ugly But Proud EP for him. He's gonna freak! On the Knuckles From
Nowhere is metal with a hardcore approach, fast and furious with lots of 'twangin'.
The A side, "Death Clowns", is atypical and has its moments but definately is not the
highlight. The bombastic "No Hope for Redemption" with a chunka-chunka guitar intro,
blazes into a Slayer-like whip-it-up assault and continues in that vein. It's as
good a track as "King Zeus". Ugly But proud seems to have a lot of potential.
Even the singer holds his own on this debut. The bangers will be delighted with
this three-piece. On Depression.
More speedcore seven-inch madness from Sweden, this time from Kazjurol, who sound
very similiar to old swedish hardcore bands Anti-Cimex or the Shitlickers, yet have
a speed metal drive. They play raw, rapid fire cranks that don't change in melody
much but continue at a feverous pace. Hoarse vocals crackle over the abrasive guitar.
The three songs on this Messengers of Death EP have some strange lyrics.
"Stagedive to Hell", for example, is a song about jumping into the crowd. Madness
permeates this EP, but it lacks something. And nothing really grabs you; it all sounds
the same after a bit. They're just not an original bunch, but I'm sure they're a lot
of fun live. If you're into slash and bash speedcore, this is for you. On Uproar.
One of the longest surving bands out of the Japanese punk scene is The Execute,
featuring original member Lemmy Yamada, who still strums the guitar. In the early
years when both Baki and Baby were with the band until they later went on to form the band
Gastunk, The Execute were a driving powerhouse punk unit. They were fast and potent
with an original Japanese style, which later became the mold for other bands to follow.
As time went on, Lemmy changed, and so did The Execute, calming down a bit,
progressing into what Lemmy called a "Samhain sound". Lemmy saw old fans become
confused and disappointed over the new direction, but gathered up a new crop of Execute
recruits. And now, after a slew of singles and twelve-inchers, The Execute have
finally released an LP. The title is The Antagonistic Shadow, and it reveals
even more changes in the band's direction; this is a long way from punk. It seems The
Execute has gone the same route as T.S.O.L., judging by the similarities to this
current sound. What really stands up is Lemmy's guitar work, which is sharp and crisp,
effective and well-styled, but lost a bit in the mix, sadly. The music here has a
haunting Gothic sense combined with a dirty pop feel that's very casual, very subdued,
tame with a lot of emphasis on deep, clear vocals. While it is a good record, it is also
difficult, and I guess that's its mystery. Hats off to Lemmy Yamada, "Human of the
Ghoul," for another curious, creative effort. On Selfish/XXX Records.