Friday, March 30, 2012

Document Not Found - Demo [2007]

There is a band that I love. I met them in their hometown of Okayama after hearing about them from every Japanese friend I knew. I'd seen their patches on shorts and backpacks. They were spoken of like some legendary, mythical entity. When I met the guys & girl from Dip Leg, they seemed pretty normal to me. Their music was truly other-worldly, though. Unfortunately, after a split, full-length, and EP, they took an indefinite hiatus that seems to have turned into a definite one, 5 years later. Their sound was one of passionate vocals, unaware of trends and fads, angular and tense guitars, rumbling but jazzy bass, and complicated drumming. They were a tight four-piece that were all playing with one accord. Since their EP, it seemed that their unique sound was gone, forever hidden in the bodies of the members who were moving on with their lives.

When I first listened to this Document Not Found (DNF) demo, I didn't really make any sort of connection. At first, I thought of 3cm tour or black film dance because of the vocals and heavy bass lines. But after watching the video I'm including below, and re-listening to the demo, I get it. This sound is reaching for the same thing that Dip Leg was doing. On this demo, DNF are still finding their voice, but they've since released a split and if the video below is any indication, they seem to be hitting their stride. I wouldn't say this is a Dip Leg copy band, but the pieces that made Dip Leg so great are present in DNF. As they write more songs, their unique identity solidifies and seems to make a great companion to Dip Leg and even some Nitro Mega Prayer.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. I really have to go buy their other stuff now!

1. はじめるが
2. 結局

Thursday, March 29, 2012

[Bandcamp] Malegoat - To Face the Music [2011]

The beginnings of albums are like all first impressions. That's why another long intro or some spoken word shit is going to make me lose it. Luckily, I can just pop in Malegoat and forget everything. A smile on my face within 5 seconds always speaks highly of a band, in my opinion, and I think Malegoat got a smile in 3. That's gotta mean something, right?

So, I'm going to organize this little talk-about (I don't want to call it a review, cause that requires me to write a certain way) into maybe three main points, the first already being said. The second point is about Japanese bands singing in English. It can ruin a band sometimes. I usually just tune it out when Husking Bee or Staple start trying to pronounce some sort of mangled lyric. I believe in singing in your own language (even though I totally break that and try to do vocals in different languages myself). But Malegoat may pass my silly barrier keeping the non-English speakers from singing in English. It just wouldn't be the same if they didn't. The pronunciation is almost perfect, but the phrasing IS perfect. The vocals are really one of the best things about this. So often with jangly emo bands like this, the vocals are not quite on key, and it just ruins the experience for me. Malegoat's vocals are always on point and go with the music perfectly. You have my permission.

Finally, nothing will stop me in my tracks like a trumpet in an emo song. Halfway through this album, they throw in an instrumental track and lace it with soothing trumpet. It just feels so American Football that they get a free pass to finish the album with some white-boy juggalo trash. For a period of two years, I went to bed with American Football every single night. Their sound has totally brainwashed me. I remember when I was listening to this album for the first time. I was paying attention to something else, but when that trumpet sounded, it was like a dinner bell. It totally soothed me, reminding me of high school. And that's what this music is about for me. It's the sound that I remember from high school, updated to be fresh and awesome.

That's about it. I love this. Keep It Together Records released the cassette in the States, so frickin' get it!

1. Matured Sense
2. Change With Our Time
3. Expression
4. Your Lie
5. Ignore
6. Time Passes
7. Tidying
8. My Blues

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tiala - 2 Song Demo [2005]

In 2005, I was still in school in Murfreesboro. I worked part time and pulled in about 400 bucks a month. This was barely enough to pay for rent, food, and gas each month. At the same time, I was still trying to run I've Come For Your Children and release stuff. Distro sales were non-existent at the time, so all money had to come out of my pocket. To add to the money difficulties, I was trying to release legit versions of everything (ie. Real CD's or Vinyl), so large chunks of money had to be doled out for each release. That meant that each release took a very long period of time to release, and I was really impatient.

So, with my friend Chris, we decided to start a side label releasing 99 copies of CD-R's. Chronocological was a funny way we mis-pronounced chronological when trying to come up with a name for a label. Our first release was a reprint of Utarid's demo, then a CD-R version of Cease Upon the Capitol's End of History EP. Finally, we did a reprint of Tiala's demo, which is what we've got here. We were both friends of Tiala's and loved the band, so it just made sense. Instead of doing any screenprinting (like the Utarid demo) or weird paper and cuttings (like the CUTC ep), we focused on weird design instead. The booklet inside is only about 1" x 1", but the cover is a replica of the outer jacket. I thought it was a pretty neat conceptual insert. The CD-R itself was stamped with a hand-cut stamp.  Overall, I was really frickin' proud with it. It ended up being the last Chronocological release, even though we had several more planned (as you can see on the site).

Tiala sounds like The Futures, The Carnival of Dark-Split, and Jerome's Dream put into a blender, sprinkled with cayenne pepper, and vomited out after a 24-hour bender. Their sound is nuts, and their live shows are fun as shit. They've taken on a more eclectic sound now, with saxophone and some different members, but this stuff was always my favorite from them.

The video quality is crap, but here's a show that I videoed:

Tiala - Demo

01. kotoba no naka
02. moetsukiru made

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[Bandcamp] Low-pass - Trimurti [2012]

Guitar wanking, posturing, and showing off was a trend that has kind of come and gone. I remember a few years ago, instrumental rock or metal bands were all the rage. The music was nothing more than an excuse for some dudes to show off how much time they spent sitting in their bedrooms practicing their instruments. Eventually everybody, even the progenitors, had given up on that art form built off of ego. Most of them ended up playing slow and starting doom bands. Cue Southern Lord...

But, there were some mad instrumentalists who never let their skill get in the way of solid song-writing, a focus on what makes music enjoyable to listen to, and creating emotional connections. In the case of instrumental bands, it's almost that much harder, since there is no human voice to connect with. Even though it pre-dates the fad I talked about, No Knife is one such band that uses amazing song-writing to mix their instrumental skill with. Despite the vocals, No Knife's music always struck me as so calculated and carefully constructed in a way that few other bands could manage. They used instrumental flourishes few bands could pull off as a means to create that unique sound.

Japan definitely took No Knife's approach to songwriting to heart. There might have been other bands that strongly influenced it, but around 2002, after No Knife toured Japan, bands started popping up that embodied that fresh, emo-rock sound (like Toe, Nine Days Wonder, Up and Coming, Wound Third Picture). It seemed to channel the Japanese obsession of perfection into an art form and give it direction. And you saw the gorgeous technicality that Americans had trouble copying from No Knife come into fruition in a country across the sea. In my mind, this sound became Japanese, since most American bands never followed it (The Kinsella brothers, Pele, and others notwithstanding).

Low-pass is the latest, and not the latest, of this grand tradition. They take elements of the best Japanese instrumental bands (Toe, Lite) and channel it through a more straight forward rock lens. The aforementioned bands lean heavily on their instruments, not reaching for a voice but trying to let the instruments do the talking. Low-pass instead leans on the strength of their song-writing, not depending on a single instrument to take the lead. In some ways, other Japanese bands feel more like jazz and Low-pass feels more like rock. You can see yourself rocking out to the songs, driving down the free-way, like a proper rock band.

And that's not saying that the instrumental prowess isn't there. Low-pass adds enough "better than you" riffs, drum rolls, and bass lines to make you feel properly insignificant. But like I said, all of this is done in worship of the song, used smartly to create a cohesive, emotional experience. Each instrument drops back, plays rhythmically when the song requires, and then freaks out when it needs to. It's some of the best mix of playing and song-writing I've heard.

Low-pass is released by Stiff Slack in Japan, but we're lucky enough that Keep It Together Records is paying attention and releasing it here. The cassette version, with some gorgeous artwork, should be out in the next few months, but the entire album is available to preview at the link below. As summer is almost upon us (or maybe I should say spring), this is the perfect album to pop in your car or MP3 player and greet the sun.

1. AR
2. Reconstruct
3. Nitro
4. Fog
5. Glide
6. Δ 
7. Landscape
8. Days Over

Monday, March 26, 2012

Unripe - Demo [2006]

Something I picked up from Oto Records a while ago. Unripe was new at the time, but since then they've released a split with The Cops Are Inside Us and another with Midnight Parade. To add to their releases, it seems their sound has changed quite a bit. The video below has a much more rocking screamo sound. Their demo is way more post-rock.

I don't know much about the band. One interesting thing is that they're from Okinawa, which is way the fuck down South of Japan. Honestly, I'm not sure how these guys travel to other towns when they play shows. They would have to either take a ferry or fly, because there's no way that there are bridges to Kyushu.

So yeah, the sound is very clean and post-rocky, and at points it gets crazy and screamy. It's not totally end of the world epic, like envy. It reminds me more of 3cm tour if they had 9 minute long songs. It's good stuff, and even though I don't care for long songs, these are pretty good.

Unripe - Demo
1. A Faint Sound of Her Feelings
2. Resound Room

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Schedule for Week of 3/25/12


This week is all about demos and Keep It Together Records. KIT Records is based out of Wisconsin and releases a wide range of cassettes, but focuses on emo and indie rock most of the time. They're starting to put out some really sweet Japanese stuff as well, which is just fine with me. This week, I'll talk about a new release and an old one. Soon there will be a split release with a bunch of Japanese screamo bands as well (such as Cofun and Blue Friend), but more info on that when it's available. Here's what to look forward to this week:

Monday - Unripe - Demo [2006]
     - Post-rock screamo from Okinawa.
Tuesday - [Bandcamp] Low-pass - Trimurti [2012]
     - Angular, instrumental rock from KIT Records.
Wednesday - Tiala - 2 Song Demo [2005]
     - Off the wall screamo-violence.
Thursday - [Bandcamp] Malegoat - To Face the Music [2011]
     - Old-school Emo which is becoming new-school emo.
Friday - Document Not Found - Demo [2007]
     - Sapporo style moody screamo.

Friday, March 23, 2012

After Forever - Demo [2002]

I had a dream the first night I slept in Japan. I went to sleep listening to "All the footprints..." and in the dream, Envy came to Nashville and played at Indienet, a local place for shows. Somehow I was there, and it was incredibly intimate. You could say that this was some sort of premonition, because a week later I got off an overnight bus in Tokyo, ready to see Envy play that night. I had been in contact with some bands before leaving for Tokyo, and I met Yuki from After Forever in the entrance of Shinuku Anti-Knock. We traded some words. My Japanese was really poor, so it was difficult to communicate on a deep level, but he was nice enough to give me a copy of his band's demo. That was the end of our contact that night, but I listened to this demo so much afterwards.

In some ways, it's hard to describe After Forever. I don't really think they sound like any other band out there. Each band member has their individual style, combining to create something unique. The drummer plays some sort of pop-punk or new-school hardcore type drums. The guitars play metal riffs with screamo melodies. The bass is like this constant moving, deep rumble, like in some of those newer death metal bands. And then there's the high-pitched screaming. It makes this desolate and melancholy sound that is just amazing.

They've sort of broken up... maybe. I honestly don't know, since they supposedly had an EP come out a few years back. It's sad that a band so amazing and unique ended up having the same name as a crappy goth band that got popular. It kind of drives the lesser known band into obscurity.

I got to see After Forever on multiple occasions, and their shows were always pitch perfect. Here's one from 2003:

1. End to Go
2. Depressed Days
3. Three Caskets

Thursday, March 22, 2012

[Bandcamp] Sto Cosi Cosi [2011]

Vocalists' styles aren't always so sound changing for me. You've got some vocalists who sort of blend into the music, others who borderline ruin the music. But I don't find many vocalists who really take a band to the next level. When I heard Sto Cosi Cosi for the first time, the music was good. Really good actually, but when the vocals started up, with that scream that ends with a high shriek, I was hooked. It reminds me a lot of Minoru from Tiala/FiveKindsSquare, but it's a bit younger sounding. It really adds an intensity and rawness to the music that just fits so perfectly.

Sto Cosi Cosi is a weird fucking name. I through they straight made up some letters until Google informed me that it is an Italian phrase meaning "I'm so so." That might not be a surprise to any of you Italian speakers, but my Italian stops at food names. Regardless, I didn't expect a band with that name to sound so harsh. There is a "genre" in Japanese music called "Chaotic." It's usually a catchall for discordant hardcore and screamo. It's rare that a band in the "Chaotic" genre is actually chaotic, but I think Sto Cosi Cosi fits there better than most. For me, Junk Hardcore makes a lot of sense. Even though it was never attributed to such bands, it makes me think of Ink & Dagger, Antioch Arrow, and Swing Kids. The music is kind of played messily, but it adheres to a weird sound all of it's own. Sto Cosi Cosi fits in that genre too. They are "Chaotic" and "Junky" and they have "Tiala" vocals. Yes, that sounds right. My description has made me happy.

So, here are three live-ish songs, probably recorded with one mic in their practice room. For the uninformed, studio can mean practice studio or recording studio. Most Japanese don't have garages to play in, so they have to rent practice studios. There, you learned something today. You're welcome.

Oh yeah, and they're looking for a drummer. So get on that. [Update: They found a drummer!]

Schedule Change

I wasn't able to finish translating the To Overflow Evidence interview by today. Things have been busy and my Japanese is SUPER rusty right now. I will try to have it ready by next week, but no promises. Instead, I'll have another review up of some awesome music. And there is also this picture of a puppy named Beyoncé:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rainover - Self-Titled [2002]

On weekends during my study in Japan, I would find record stores, map out the ways to get there in my map book, and go on adventures. Independent record stores were all over the Kansai region, and the town I lived in, Hirakata City, was right in the heart of it. For some reason, I remember the trip when I bought this. I don't remember the specific store, but I have a fragment of memory. The sky was overcast, it wasn't too cold but not warm at all. I walked out of the store, and towards a section of road with bridges overhead. There was a sort of outdoor mall with vendors selling off-brand goods, and ramen shops in the corner. I guess you could say I just described every Japanese city ever. Maybe so.

Why I picked this up, I don't remember. I'd heard of the Not Superstitious label, or maybe it just sounded cool. Either way, it was two songs and it was cheap, so I didn't have any qualms about getting it. But I feel like I had some idea what this sounded like. It brought me back to late high school, jamming to Mineral, Pop Unknown, and other sappy emo bands. The band cranks it out with twin guitars, emotional vocals, and sleepy drums. Some descriptions say they sound like Lovemen. Never heard them, though.They also say this band sounds like Bluebeard, which is partially true. Bluebeard is way better.

Surprisingly, this is still for sale from Disk Union. They are a pretty big indie record store, but still. This thing is 10 years old now, so why they would have what is essentially a demo for this long is baffling. If you're interested in grabbing a copy, follow this link:
Buy rainover CD from Disk Union
And, internet research has shown me you can also get it at recordshop BASE:
Buy rainover CD from recordshop BASE

No videos. What's up with that, Japan?

1. Hate and Wall
2. I Do Not Like You

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

[Bandcamp] Blue Friend - Demo [2012]

I couldn't find any pictures of Blue Friend and their Bandcamp is a little sparse, so I image.googled blue friend, and there it is. A cute little blue dog, that I really hope was photoshopped, cause if it wasnt... that is fucked up.

[Public Service Announcement: I listen to so much music that my brain gets scrambled sometimes. I might not remember the "influenced by" bands as clearly as I think. For example, I may say a band sounds like another and you may think "This guy's on crack!" I promise you, I'm not on crack. But everything else you would say is true.]

Anyways! To the music. This is supposed to be some sort of review or preview, but it's really just going to me talking about this badass little demo I found on bandcamp. And thank Utada Hikaru that the Japanese bands are putting their stuff up on Bandcamp. It's one of the nicest inventions ever made for bands. I haven't seen anything that works better out there. So, if you're listening: 日本人へ、Bandcampで自分のバンドの音楽をシェアーしてください。よろしく。Blue Friend plays around with bands like Cofun, and generally raises the emo (dare I say screamo) revival flag high. There sound isn't straight-up envy worship, like so many others. They pull most of their influence from really good, but short-lived, American screamo bands like Lautrec and Osceola. Add a dash of European bands like La Quiete and The Mock Heroic. And that never-ending Japanese perfect sense of melody, and you've got yourself a Blue Friend.

There are two songs here, both stand completely alone and provide a manifesto of sorts for this amazing band. There's another song on their soundcloud, for those of you who just can't friggin get enough (like me). Honestly, it's a little bit of a departure from the songs on the bandcamp, and I have a suspicion that it was recorded earlier than the demo.

In closing, this shit is good. It shows promise and ingenuity. I could probably listen to envy knock-off bands until my ears give out on me, but Blue Friend shows that there is more from this new breed of Japanese bands than simple rehashes of the best moments of Japan's music history. What do you guys think?

1. Dasai
2. Saisho

Monday, March 19, 2012

Next Style on Youtube

Next Style is a really great early emo/hardcore band from Sapporo (maybe I should say was. They broke up a long time ago). I have one seven inch, and its really amazing. Higu, from Black Film Dance, does vocals, and they're a little less "extreme" than the stuff he's known for. Anyways, I was watching a video of bonescratch and saw a video for Next Style! Only... this isn't what I was expecting:

Hemp Coaching Juicer - 全部つながっている [2008]

I ordered this from Oto Records after doing some trades, sometime around 2008-2009. I hadn't been paying attention much to the Japanese scene, just catching the occasional band that popped out (like killie and hiha). So, I went through his distro and just grabbed whatever looked promising.

It turns out, I didn't do so bad. Hemp Coaching Juicer is fucking awesome. Their sound is pretty noisy hardcore that ventures into thrash, but they have that undeniable Japanese sense of melody. You get 6 songs here, which is much more than a demo. The cover is cloth, essentially a patch, although sewing this on my shorts would leave me no cover for this CD. This is for fans of Tiala, The Carnival of Dark-Split, and Breakfast.

I just got their split with High Tension Sex Girl, and it's amazing. I'm hoping to post a review or something sometime soon.

This is still available to purchase (I know, I'm kind of breaking my philosophy a bit here), so please support the band if you like this. I kind of realized this was still out there while I was trolling some record shops. Buy this here:
Record Shop BASE
Senseless Records

Here's a whole set:

1. 良いところだけ
2. 思いやりの心
3. 自分自身で決めたこと、自分自身で選んだこと
4. すぐそばに
5. 全部つながっている
6. 手遅れになる前に

Friday, March 16, 2012

Schedule for Week of 3/18/12

Just thought I'd get you pumped for what's coming up next week. The week is packed with awesome stuff from my collection as well as a recent demo and my first translated interview. See you next week!

Monday - Hemp Coaching Juicer - 全部つながっている [2008]
     - Some crazy screamo.
Tuesday - [Bandcamp] Blue Friend - Demo [2012]
     - New Japanese screamo. Very good stuff!
Wednesday - Rainover - Self-Titled [2002]
     - Old school emo.
Thursday - [Interview] To Overflow Evidence
     - First interview on here, translated from Emotal Magazine.
Friday - After Forever - Demo [2002]
     - One of my all time favorites. And no, this isn't that cheesy goth metal band.

Kana-shibari - A Nation of Fisherman in Search of a Hook [2003]

One of my favorite releases out of Japan and a total luck buy. Kana-shibari was a short-lived band, 2/3 non-Japanese. The singer sounds Australian, but no clue on the other guy. Their only other release, to my knowledge, is two songs on the "This is Pop" compilation, which are from this release.

Anyways, if you're familiar with My Disco, especially their earliest stuff, then you'll already love Kana-shibari. They play a jazzy, screamed indie rock, with touches of post-punk and shit. Honestly, it's hard to describe. There's a very heavy groove, and lots of emotion, and guitars with 'tudes. That's a better description.

No videos. Anywhere. That I could find. And I searched pretty hardcore for them.

1. Dinner Bell
2. The Boom
3. Midline
4. Angel Out of You
5. Real Managers Drink Their Own Urine
6. The Bottom

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Atlas the Alone Live [2007]

Atlas the Alone was a band the played one of the most amazing shows I saw while I was studying in Japan. It happened at this weird practice studio in Osaka. The above little ticket thing is what I got at the door. I only knew After Forever and R3-N7 coming into the show, but got many surprises. I think I have Atlas the Alone footage somewhere, but I'm not really setup to rip video right now (hopefully soon!). Instead, when I was trying to find more info about the band, I found that someone posted 5 songs on youtube years ago. The audio is pulled from a live show, but isn't the worst thing ever. I've heard worse demos. They play a sort of hybrid between Japanese new school hardcore and envy-style screamo. I thought it was pretty interesting when I saw them, and these songs reaffirmed that decision. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Curve - Slow Down [2003]

Just a short one today. Here's a one song promo thingy I picked up from Curve. I'm not sure the year on this, because there's no data on the release. I think it's before Broken Beautiful Product, which would put it  around 2003 or something. So yeah, that's what I'm going with.

Curve recently had a release that is available outside of Japan. Bear Records put out a split CD with Curve and some other Japanese & American bands. You can buy it right here for only 6 frickin bucks.

Oh yeah, so to describe Curve I usually go with a more epic and aggressive Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World. He plays with a lot of screamo and hardcore bands, but definitely doesn't play that. Maybe emo that appeals to that crowd, you could say? Either way, his stuff is pretty good. From the video below, it looks like he's added another dude to the band (used to be a two-piece), or maybe that's just for live shows.

1. Slow Down

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NNI Postrock Compliation - Vols. I & II [2011-2012]

The divide between the underground music scene in Japan and the doujin music scene seems pretty large. Obviously, I'm only observing from a distance so I can't really tell. But the bands from either scene never play together (even though most doujin artists never play out anywhere), and their pages are never linked to each others. The doujin scene is really focused around internet releases and selling their stuff at Comiket, the underground scene live shows and distros. I listen to both scenes, as I can find info on them. Wherever the music comes from, if it resonates with me, I'll listen to it.

With all that being said, now I have to sort of contradict myself. What I'm posting today, I only found because of a link between the scenes. The band none but air (yeah, it sounds a lot like some it air, which is why I got excited) played a show with some underground bands I pay attention to (document not found & elica). I looked them up, liked their sound, and found that they appeared on a post-rock compilation (post-rock not being my favorite genre anymore after millions of bands have murdered long intros in the face). The compilation was full of bands I'd never heard of, so I gave it a chance and it was surprisingly solid. And there were more than one, there were two compilations! It looks like this NNI group is doing these as some sort of collaboration between musicians and artists.

Anyways, the downloads are free and the music is good. Most every band sounds different than each other, and some don't quite fit into the post-rock mold (is that techno I hear?), but free is as cheap as you can get.

1. Melanche[n]try - アイオンの微睡
2. つこ - 蝶の軌跡
3. ぽんぽんがぽんぽん - Am I sleeping?
4. LOMO - To mute the World
5. カトウタイキ - dreamy wonder
6. ネツ - トイボックス、または白塗りのマティエールが机に突っ伏すまで
7. SE2 - アンジュロと真夜中
8. Fairy Penguin - 演劇少女
9. mellow out - Lights

1. エヌオシ - 仮眠の季節におけるボクたちの挨拶
2. X2N - Musica
3. Al-Kamar - 閉塞と虚空
4. iida - riot in me
5. 110428 - juvenile
6. 6ta - Insider in the minor
7. tuaiki - We go without our will
8. none but air - 閉鎖された鍵穴の理由と終わり
9. 奈加野グリフォン - さよならに咲く

Monday, March 12, 2012

How this works

Dip Leg
I thought I would write a little about how this blog is working. I'm trying to get into a schedule that makes it easier for me to plan stuff and sustain some good momentum. Here's what it looks like:

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays - OOP Collection -
I'll be posting things from my collection with high-quality (300dpi) scans of all the artwork. I won't be posting things that are still available (except for my own releases). I did some math on my stuff, and I can last  almost two years at this rate, and by that time I'll be able to post more stuff.

Tuesdays & Thursdays - Current stuff, Flyers, Pictures, Interviews, Internet Goodies
The other two weekdays will kind of be a grab bag. There are some cool things I'm finding that are free on the internet that I want to share, as well as flyers and pictures that I have. Also, I will be translating and possibly conducting some interviews with current and past bands. One thing that I think there is waaaaaaay to little of is Japanese bands speaking in their own voice (in English), so hopefully I can help change this a bit. And finally, there are so many weird internet goodies floating around. The wayback machine is one of the best inventions ever, and I've found some things lying around in those databases that are fun to look at.

Saturdays & Sundays - Rest
I play video games and do homework. You do something other than expect me to post on here.

And that is the format I'm going to try to keep up with. The Band & Label links are constantly being updated as I find new bands. I really appreciate your comments, so if you got something to say or like what I'm doing, let me know!

Infro - Demo [2005]

I first heard infro on the first "Here Comes the Bottom Line..." compilation from Impulse Records. They had two songs that just rocked so good. There sound takes some cues from 1000travels of Jawaharlal, Turbostaat, and early envy. Kind of that whole rocking, but melodic, and screaming punk or hardcore. Not sure what to call it, but it's great. But what I think makes infro so good is that they get better the more you listen to them. Their music is so deep. There's so much going on that you won't notice at first. Listening to this demo again after 7 years, I'm still finding new things to love about it.

Luckily for humankind, these guys are still fucking rocking out. Their site has tons of information, and they even put out a split 7" last year. Impulse Records has put out an almost album (7 songs) and another EP, which is a good amount of stuff to sink your teeth into (I'll probably be posting Melody soon).

Funny note: in searching for this video below, I found that a shit ton of youtube people don't fucking know how spell "info." It's not "infro" you dummies. God!

1. Magatta Senaka
2. Digidigi

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lostage - Demo [2003]

This was a totally luck grab. I think I got it at Allman in 2003. Lostage plays some totally smooth emo rock that makes me feel the same way No Knife makes me feel. Angular and melodic. I thought this was an EP, but Lostage's site says it was their demo. Well. It's a fucking amazing demo here, that doesn't sound like a demo.

Anyways, Lostage is doing very well these days, headlining big gigs and doing it large like only a medium-sized Indie band in Japan can.

Here's a video from their Toy's Factory debut (I didn't even know they released something on Toy's Factory until now) in 2009. Now that I'm listening to this, I'm thinking they sound more like Bush than No Knife. In a really good way.

1. Routine
2. 下がった体温
3. 2:50

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nervous Light of Sunday - Demo [2003]

A random demo I picked up in 2003. I didn't know what to expect, but Nervous Light of Sunday play some awesome melodic, new school hardcore. They're still around and released an album on Cosmic Note a few years ago. Pretty good stuff on here. Enjoy!

1. 囁く風が
2. 冷めていく体温
3. 離れた指先

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[Bandcamp] Cofun - "We Practice Our Songs" Demo [2012]

Most of the stuff I post on here is old, but that doesn't mean there isn't awesome things going on in Japan today. I try to only post out of print stuff, so that existing bands can sell their stuff without downloads ruining it. With that being said, I definitely want to post more about current stuff, and free stuff on bandcamp makes that happen quickly! (hint hint to other Japanese bands).

So, this morning, this video popped into my Youtube box:

It's from a band I'd never heard called Blue Friend. Well, they're pretty awesome, and I looked at the complete bandlist for this show, which happened on 3/4/12 (how's that for recent?). I'm still building out my Band Links page, and take every new flyer I see as a chance to add another band I hadn't seen before. There were a few, and on doing some research, I found that cofun has a bandcamp with their whole demo on it! Released last month! Please, young Japanese hardcore bands, we need more of this. Bandcamp is an insanely great platform and everyone should use it.

Anyways. Cofun plays lighter, USA-style screamo with some Japanese flair. I couldn't tell you who they sound like (it's early), but it fits pretty well into what other bands have done before. There's a whole 8 songs and the download is completely free. And give the thing a like. There are no likes! So sad!

1. a
2. b
3. c
4. d
5. e
6. f
7. g
8. h

Monday, March 5, 2012

Neoteny - Demo [2003]

I don't have much information around this demo. I picked it up somewhere while in Japan in 2003. Neoteny (or is it Neoteny64. I don't know) run with the Tokyo screamo crowd and did a split with Egoist for Men. I found the video below, and I totally dig the song. They play that Japanese emotional hardcore sound without being derivative. The demo has keyboards and a slight Gauge Means Nothing feel to it. There's no insert to the demo, so I don't know what the songs are called. But, they are great. Check it out and enjoy!

[No song titles listed, but there are two songs]