Thursday, February 5, 2015

Blood Rite Vol. 7 (January 17th, 2015)

Bit of a late posting here, but hey better late than never. Retch's first event of 2015, Blood Rite vol. 7, went off like dy-no-mite a few weeks ago over at Shinjuku's Earthdom, a club that by now you should probably know of as we sing its praises relatively often.

The line up, as you can tell from the flyer above, consisted of


which was a bit of a mindfuck if you know anything about how shows in Japan tend to work. Generally, genres tend to stick to themselves, without branching out or venturing into new territory all too much. Calling this problematic would be going too far, but it can certainly be frustrating at times as it allows for, and almost encourages, a lot of recurring lineups month-on-month. 

Blood Rite Vol. 7, however, bucked that trend pretty hard. And to great effect!

First up was Hatreraid, a noisepunk outfit that we all thought were a bunch of young guns coming up in the punk scene, but who are actually an on-again-off-again group of guys with a good bit of cred in the scene (shit, Hazard pushed pretty hard for them to get on the bill, and if Hazard pushes something, you know its good). Given the time constraints, they were only able to play a 20 minute set, but they used that time quite well. 

Grungey-bandito-hippie might be the correct term for their visual flair, but so far as sound is concerned they're rather consistent. Their guitarist comes out with his face hidden behind a bandana, leather strap, SxOxBx shirt, and Corrupted hat, and rips into very heavily distorted (too distorted, honestly, and after the show I confirmed with him that he set his rig up very poorly); the vocalist rifles onto stage in a filthy brown, patchwork, bag-lady "dress" and a flower-power wobbly-rimmed hat whilst barking into the mic that he was at the same time throwing around, making for some awkward positions; their bassist is an obvious fan of Kurt Cobain and relatively obese tones; their drummer, like all drummers, let his blasting do the talking and was pretty much unnoticeable aside from that. Interesting to say the least.

Following Hatredraid came Marubullmen. You have noticed on the flyer that they are described as "Crossover Trash." This was a mistake in printing... but it turned out to be rather accurate. Not that Marubullmen are a shit act - far from it - merely they've got a certain charisma, cavalierness, if you will, that they bring to their particular style of thrash that makes "Crossover Trash" pretty on the button. 

So they sound good and have a good stage act. Great. When you think about it, how's that set them apart? I'll tell you how - their guitarist destroys your liver with his evil brews at his legendary Yokohama establishment, Thrash Zone. And if you're not careful with the abnormally strong beers there you might... wait for it... get Trashed!

BEnB contributors Retch (of which you are reading the guitarists words right now) were up next. Excellent set if I do say so myself. Sound was pretty good, the new setlist included 2 new songs (which we're still working on remembering the names of... Pray to Bacchus? The Song That Sounds A Whole Lot Like Inquisition?), and, uh, minor lemons.

Oh, my amp did kick out for a brief moment halfway through a song, but that was due to one of my pedals being a piece of junk (great sound, though). Gotta get that fixed. We're still not exactly sure what the hell it is we play, but its firmly lodged somewhere between Black and Death and Thrash and a little bit of Punk on occasion. Whatever. You like it. Quit whining.

Hazard took the stage after Retch, and they sounded like Hazard. Hardcore Fucking Punk. The old timers have definitely earned their name for sheer activity over the years, what with them playing at least twice a month most months it seems (very frequently on their own Punk Addict bill) but there is a reason for that, you know: they're solid as fuck. You wanna get back to that old-tymey, beer-in-one-hand-fist-in-air-spit-in-face moshpit (sidenote to be discussed later) kinda punk? Give Hazard a go, they won't disappoint.

Sobbed rule, Taste rule, I'll edit this later to make it longer but I'm sick of typing now so accept what you get. They were the main focus of the show and really made it worth the effort. Both were better than I was expecting (and I was expecting a lot), though the two bands are really quite a far cry from each other. Sobbed's maniac, frantic grind is a fear-inducing rabid beast. The quality of the distortion on the guitars mixed with the pummelling drums and Taku's vocals which transcend menacing create what can really only be described as a dizzying experience. Whirlwind gales of sheer reptilian brain chaos. Outstanding.

Taste is quite the opposite of Sobbed. Equally, if not even more lethal, however the calculated attack of Taste's very bass heavy Death is all together different from Sobbed's raging fury. And make no mistake, there is some very fancy finger/foot work throughout the whole band, but much like Gotsu Totsu Kotsu also manages to accomplish, they somehow pull all of that technical-ness together into a massive, seething ball of Intent to Kill.

The show wrapped up nicely, Taste's Harima cracked a big bottle of Sendai (their hometown) sak√©, had an after party at some super-cheap Izakaya, ran into the guys from Neuroticos, and then had a pretty good time at From Dusk Till Dawn minus the unfortunate presence of a certain individual.

Going back to that moshpit sidenote. While attendance and the bands and blah blah blah were all great, barely any moshing occurred. What the fuck is that? That definitely shaved a few points off of what was otherwise an excellent show. 

But all in all, 9/10. Would do it again.

Oh, and many thanks to Christian Granum for all the shots.

Hatredraid Marubullmen Retch Sobbed Taste

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