Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nightmare mega post

By no means can I claim to have been any kind of "old schooler" when it comes to the Japanese hardcore. I wasn't hip to it when it was available to me and 90% of the people who claim some sort of OG cred concerning it are full of shit. If they are under 30, they are absolutely bullshitting. I saw Lee Dorrian and Danny Lilker wearing S.O.B. shirts, so I knew of it's existence at a younger age than most. I read interviews where they talked about how great it was. It wasn't until I started leeching from blogs that I actually got to HEAR any of it.

Some time ago, I found uploads of both the Eye Of The Thrash Guerilla and Starving Dog Eats Master compilations. I can't remember where. They both had tracks from bands I was familiar with on them. I figured they would be a good place to start to check out some of the lesser known Japanese bands. Despite all the hype, cult appeal and fetishism the record collectors (see: pretentious assholes) subscribe to when spending $300 on OG Zouo vinyl, Japanese HC is just like any other scene. There are good bands and there are bad bands. It all depends on your tastes. My tastes run to the more aggressive and fast paced side of things. I've scratched the surface and I know what I like. I can't say I like it all, including some very popular and influential acts that I am just not into. I won't start any arguments about who sucks or who rules. One thing pretty much everyone can agree on is that Nightmare is one of the best. They were featured on BOTH the compilations I downloaded and I had to hear more. I dug a little deeper into their legacy and saw how respected the "Give Notice Of Nightmare" LP was on the internet. I couldn't find uploads of it ANYWHERE aside from the defunct "Fight Against The Plutocrats" blog (R.I.P. Dirk, you are one of the reasons I started a blog) where it had long since expired due to inactivity.

I have since purchased these two compilations that pretty much make up their early 90's output, sans their first 7" which they omitted from their discography for whatever reason. The recordings have been remastered and sound fucking awesome. They were SO full of piss and vinegar. They are still together today, but I have heard varying opinions on their more recent stuff. Few bands in ANY scene maintain this kind of energy track after track. Where Deathside fiddled with OTT guitar arrangements and superior song structure (to great effect,) GISM destroyed clubs with flamethrowers and bulldozers, and Disclose buried their Discharge worship in heaps of white noise and feedback (to lesser effect IMHO,)

Nightmare's schtick was to go straight for the throat. I don't think there is one weak song on either of these collections. Nightmare, along with Bastard, Gauze and Lip Cream are what I always imagined Japanese HC to be like. Fast as fuck, consistently tight and absolutely feral in their delivery.
One think you have to love about the Japanese is their penchant for experimentalism. The tracks for the 'Footprints In the Wind' single on the Bloodsucker Years feature a John Zorn-like freakout saxophone player who plays almost constantly over every track. Of the two, I think I prefer the Early Years compilation a little more. It contains the aforementioned Give Notice Of Nightmare recording as well as the tracks from both the compilations I named. No screwball Peter Brötzmann saxophone, just total thrash from beginning to end.

Early Years


Unknown said...

Super rad post man.

Papst Benedikt XVI said...

actually I sold my ZOUO 7" for 180 and G.I.S.M.'s Detestation 12" for 150 bucks in 1998 which some more Japcore classics (which I still regret but I needed the money) and if I'd have found someone who would have paid me 300 I'd have sold the ZOUO 7" for 300 bucks without feeling bad... seriously you have to take the from them - who knows what else they would by for it instead?