The following is the March 1987 installment of Puszone
Thanks to Scott Slimm for the article.
I stepped into the long, narrow structural body and walked to my right.
A smooth, kind-looking face greeted my passing presence and signaled
to continue onward and to my left. Before me were chairs upholstered
with close sections of patterned material in outrageously vibrant colors;
neatly bolted down in tows of threes and fives. It was tight, bigger than
most, and maybe a bit more comfortable than any I had experienced before.
I moved into a seat next to the window shaped like the image of a sideways
television tube. I wiggled around a bit to adjust my positioning. A scornful
looking elderly woman-unfriendly and caught up in everyone else's business
like it was her own-sat next to me; still, not a word was uttered by her
mouth. Content with where I was, I leaned the seat back, following the
instructions that were lit up above my forehead, and I contemplated a bit of
eyelid downage to escape-hopefully-into a fantasy drew world- as my lengthy
voyage over the sea would be an hoursome duty. Fading into slumber was pleasant
as a loud roaring sound from the engines slowly went away. Suddenly a jolt
jarred my left arm. I lifted my eyelids to see what had disrupted my siesta
state, and looked into the eyes of a beautiful young woman, leaning over to hand
me a tray of steaming food. But her hands were full, so she couldn't have
abruptly awakened me. I glanced at the woman next to me. She was the one.
Devious little creature, I thought as I gobbled the morsels and slurped liquid
through rocks of ice. Now wide awake, I reached over, grabbed a magazine with
an action-packed cover and gazed away as I turned the pages. The elderly woman
viciously watched my every move, reading every page and grunting in disapproval.
Her cold stares burned holes in my neck and torched the hairs on my forearm. I
just couldn't figure out what was with this person. I finally came to a lengthy
column, and a ray of sunlight twinkled into my right eye. About three quarters
of the way into the first column, this octogenarian woman roared into my
ear with a loud blaring voice and a snearing gnarr, "What is that you're
reading?" "Excuse me," I retorted, "Of what concern is it to you what I'm
reading?" She cranked her head back, opening her mouth and bellowed out a
monsterous, "Well..." And with a flash, the magazine was alive with movement as
thousands of ant-like creatures stormed over my arms toward this old woman and
engulfed her form. She screamed loudly, but I don't think anyone heard. I was
in shock, in total disbelief of what was going on when i peered closely at one of
the creatures. It was a letter from the alphabet. I quickly turned my head and
looked at my magazine. Sure enough-totally blank pages. I knew what is was.
"Okay troops," I said to these battling letters. "Back into the Puszone."
HAHA, it's Zone time again-special Japanese report time, hot from the glorious
orient, where the action is alive.
Banzai! With fiery combustion and solid surges smashing straight forward into a
menacing whallop, this dose of chaotic delirium is not yielding to any boundaries.
It rages havoc to maximum extremes. Welcome to Thrash Til Death compilation
LP or "omnibus" as the Japanese phrase it. It features four of Japan's premier
hardcore acts. What you have here is a solid scowling of speedy flailing with wild
thrusting vocals rushed frantically to the core and halted just as fast as the
meltdown began. Set down the stylus and burst into the extreme thrash of Lipcream
who wage a mayhemic war of rabble rousing power with distinct exerting beats and
slices of metallic rawness. Vocalist Jha Jha forces his words out of his face as
he screams and contorts, pacing with each chord, foaming at the mouth in rabid vigor.
Drummer Pil thrusts down colliding drum sticks with loud crushing beats. The guitar
warfare comes from bassist Minoru and guitarist Naoki who assemble a wailing militia
of tight zooming licks and deep thronging plucks, keeping it all under wraps and flying
at 1,000 mph without blurring out. Tokyo's Lipcream represent a strength of
hardcore might, hard-working melodies from four of the nicest guys whose reputation is
a bit over the weather, you might say. Still, Lipcream is one of the most active
bands in Japan today. Five great tracks by Lipcream are featured. The grooves
work into yet another bomb blast, the sonic skin pelting drives of Systematic Death.
Probably the least known of the four bands on the compilation, Systematic Death
force it out face first with wicked, shrilling vocals overblowing into a disorderly crank
of raw, distorted guitar, backed by continual drum bangs. Super speed thrash that
kicks off hard and continues to do so with abundant quickness add barbaric mayhem.
The dynamic build-up by Systematic Death raises the temperature, and the
sweat pours from the rapid energy run amok on the five tracks presented here.
Flip this black vinyl gem over, then unplug your ears to the roar of Japnese thrash
giants, Gauze. Considered the ultimate thrash experience, Gauze stabs into
a feverous mega-paced beat with chants, stop 'n go sing-a-longs, and effective song
structure. Gauze hauls a vigorous load that fires pulsating rockets at your
mental state. Whip-snapping drum plunges kick in the gears as a metallic guitar sound
pierces out, crazed and crude, attacking with grinding speed. The strong bass
production features an effective rumble that booms down hard. Five of the meanest
tracks from the Gauze play list scorch it mad. Finally six tracks of
obsessive uproar thump into high pace with a maniacal drive and turbulent delivery.
The masters of Japanese chaos dizzily spin you around towards insanity as Osaka's faves Outo wreck everything in sight. Fuzzed-out feedback, distorted to level 10,
crawls up your flesh, plucking your hair, as Katsumi's guitar hollers with cruel desire,
spurting off a few iron leads, to pinprick the skin. Intense, full tiltcyclone cleavers,
that cannonball the area in vicious delight. Constant speed stirs up this Outo
outburst with smiling thrash flails and a hectic barrage of terror. A hyperactive
vocalist, Butcher, growls out the shouts, plunging the saliva deep into the crowd,
grinning ear to ear as his tonsils redden with each assault of gut-ripping howls. Outo-a noise force to be reckoned with. Four hot Japanese bands on a titanic
sampler. Thash Til Death on Selfish Records.
One of the oldest Japanese hardcore bands still in existence is The Execute.
Even though there have been numerous member changes(Baki and Baby went on to form
Gastunk), Lemmy Yamada had kept his outfit driving tight with aggressive power.
On The Execute's fifth EP An Omen of Fear, four tracks ravage out a
hard hitting display of blustering vigor cranked in with a deep moody change of ghoulish
delight. Side A is an onslaught of energetic action, with fast, vingorous chord
changes, thrusting cymbal splashes and a catchy melody on "Mental Mayhem." "Your
Eyes" whips up a good pace with Lemmy's unique guitar sound wailing at the forefront
as the structure of the song grabs your attention and plays in your brain. Side B shows
a more subdued Execute sound with horror overtones, or as the Japanese punx
would say..."Its sounds like Samhain." Raw and black, deep with power, 'Lone Wolf
(Spectral Version)' haunts with a medium paced build backed with lots of choruses and
growling guitar melodies. Like all classic The Execute releases, this is a
classic. The songwriting has that certain punch that keeps it unprecedented. Comes with
English lyrics also. On Selfish Records.
Well the speedcore metal explosion has hit Japan, even though some of the Japanese
punk bands were doing it before it got popular in the U.S.A. and a few of these bands
totally rage. Casbah, a zoomfest heavy packer, rip the flesh away with split
second attacks of nitro-laced mayhem that careens with intense power and brutal
determination. Casbah's debut seven inch Russian Roulette features two
tracks, each with a different origin. "Death Metal" plunges headlong into an abrasive
bonfire with blurring lyrics rapidly tongued out as the heavy sound production bleeds
away a quick, boisterous barrage of glass shattering jolts. Tough, crazed rhythms dart
in every direction. The title track has more composition to it, with multitudes of chord
changes and breaks, while still holding the speedy action. A bit more feverish with
metallic leads and wails, the vocals are still apt out in a rush, and a high snare sound
pounds harshly. Casbah represent a new breed in Japan and will go quite far
with their hurried sound. On No Poser Records.
Raw, tormented power. Crude with crunching thumps in deep production, as heavy
hardcore riffs storm out with fuzzed-out distortion, frazzling the swift aggression
into a total sonic mayhem. This is LSD, and this is their second EP entitled Jast Last, which is perhaps one of the most intense vinyl releases in hardcore
history as the wall of noise nightmare electrifies more wattage to increase this
thunderous sound even more. The vocalist growls with an exploding wail that gargles
with a grinding edge, dominates over the steadfast clamor of the crash and bang hectic
pursuit of the gnarled guitar feedback and heavy bass boomage. The voice just screams
to the melody and with such a nasty feel, it really works with all the rhythms. unique,
unusual, mindblowing. "Karen Nash" an odd song that begins with acoustic guitar surges
and slow melodic beats only to leap into a war of chaos and total mayhem. LSD, a
classic sound, it has that plus that keeps you glued in fear, yet enjoyment smiles.
A wild wonderful disc that will disrupt all minds. On LSD Records.
Quite possibly the best Japanese hardcore magazine is P.O.W., originally, the
initials stoof for "Punk On Wave", but they recently represented "Performance of War".
With three issues out, P.O.W. is a thick magazine that is very similar in size
to National Geographic, with little to no ads. Packed, cover to cover with great layouts,
color and B&W photos, interviews (sometimes translated to English) and so much material,
it's a pleasure to look at even if you can't read Japanese. Run out of a small office
in Tokyo, P.O.W. is basically put together by Sakevi(G.I.S.M.) and Jha Jha(Lipcream)
along with many other contributors. Their effort is a superior one. Everything in
the hardcore industrial field is covered in this magazine.
A funny record of hardcore noise is a five song EP entitled Jarged GBH-Greatest Baka
Hits by what could be a great Japanese joke band called Baka. The photos of
the four members on the back are hilarious with their ultra-mod spiky punk hairdos and
dopey poses. Musically, Baka cut a raw punk edge at a medium pace with screams,
chants and harmonic sing-a-longs. Tin can guitar buzzing echos out loudly as the stop
then speed up pace shows interesting structure and fave melodies. A real rockin' horse
effort that works effectively, while maintaining a solid energy and humorous overtones,
especially with the female backups. Baka take over where Laughing Nose sold out.
Rough. A demo tape made at Japan's excellent pratice studios called for this band made up
of crossover victims from speed metal and hardcore worlds, but definately enjoyers of both. Meathead's Welcome to Demonslaughter is a fun project made up of Masaki of United on guitar, Kovich of Casbah on bass, Tetsuo of United on drums
and the "Suicidal Chojin" Kuro on vocals. Crude delivery, sometimes fast, sometimes
melodic, seizes the moment and rocks hard, thrusting out serious voltage in a playful way.
With a few more hours of practice, Meathead could be a force to acknowledge, but
since the members all have other band committments, this is one of those great tucked away
blasters who joust out the zip every so often. Siz tracks that are callow, yet good sport.
S.O.B.-Debut EP Coward-Flexi Doom-Go Mad Yourself EP Last Punk Osaka-Compilation LP Disarray-In search of...EP Gastunk-For fans EP Poison-EP Zadkiel-Hell's Bomber EP United-Beast Dominate EP Swanky's-Rock 'n Roll History Flexi