A TRIBUTE TO 1988

by xjtx

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This new column is a private joke dedicated to my friend Michôl who plays the guitar in CHIENS, french grindcore dogs from Nancy (and also a reminder of what DROIDxRAGE co-author Tieuma is doing with his “Crucial Records” columns). Michôl always tries to convince me that year 1986 (his year of birth) was the best period for hardcore & metal releases. Thus, I volunteer to be year 1988 delegate for forcing worldwide douchebags to admit that, actually, year 1988 (my own year of birth) is a better vintage wine for aforementioned “extreme” musical releases (Ok, you guys do actually own “Reign in blood”, so what? Now just shut the fuck up!)! So, from time to time. I will post you some awesome products from 1988 trademark.

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Today, this column is dedicated to two japanese hardcore bands who released in 1988, in my opinion, two of the greatests EPs of this scene:

I/ INNOCENTS – 魔性, D.I.S. Records

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This record is a collector’s item: only a single pressing in 1988 on D.I.S. Records (Dirty Informal Section, label located in Shizuoka, Chubu) – three original pressings are currently on sale on Discogs (between 40 and 60$) – and a 25 tracks CD compilation of all INNOCENTS materials have been released on SS Recordings in 2009.

You might have understood that I’m a global hardcore addict, thus no matter what type of hardcore you play or where you’re located, least of all if you’re straight edge, vegan or into krishna or taqwacore, I will always have a curious interest on what music you play. I remind you that japanese hardcore is one of my all-time hardcore scene, mainly the one wich directly comes from the punk and street punk roots (you now understand the mohawks, denim & leather and combat boots on the picture!), thus if you listen to this record, you will quickly understand why this record is a blast. You might already know that japanese hardcore bands traditionally play an increasing mix of crossover/thrash/heavy metal and crust/d-beat/anarcho punk (GISM from Tokyo might be the best example, besides, the guttural singing featuring on this record really reminds me of Sakevi Yokoyama vocals) wich  is exactly what we find listening to this INNOCENTS’s EP: classic UK82 bass lines and drums (really heavy) and a very impressive guitar riffing, a great tribute to classic NWOBHM bands, or even more crossover/thrash NYC bands like NYC MAYHEM, NUCLEAR ASSAULT or CRUMBSUCKERS. Yeah, this EP is definitly what I first wanted to pick up to show you how much I am proud to be born in 1988!

II/ NIGHTMARE s/t EP, Selfish Records.

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Gosh… I was actually listening to this EP on YouTube before going to bed yesterday (not a good idea if you want my opinion!) and this record actually gave me the idea of this column. It as been released as a 7″ on Selfish Records wich is also a collector’s item (only four copies on sale on Discogs from 50 to 80€) and do I really need to introduce you to this famous japanese record label? The one who put out probably the best records from Japan? Just to name a few: “Bet on the possibility” by All-Mighty DEATH SIDE (w/ members of PAINTBOX, FORWARD, JUDGEMENT) a record surrounded over the years by rumors spreading the word that this record had put Selfish Records out of the business due to tremendous production costs, or GAUZE “Equalizing Distort” LP released two years earlier, I can also add other records like POISON “Hot Rod” 7″, S.O.B. “Leave me alone” 7″, LIP CREAM “9 shocks terror” 12″, “Close to the edge” LP, “Lip Cream” LP, ACID “Shock Troops” LP, FINAL BOMBS “Dooms Day” CD (though I prefer their 2010 “There is no turning back” LP!)…and the list goes on, and on! Well, let us get back to the point: this NIGHTMARE EP.

If you’re into classic USHC, well this EP must remind you of POISON IDEA. It’s more than striking to be honest. It is really fast, aggressive and heavy the same way than Portland well-known band. I can listen to it dozens of times in a row (that’s pretty much what I did before writing this column)… I can’t tell you how much I like the guitar parts on “Bleak Life” and “Fifty Fifty”. I can understand why oldest folks who are into hardcore punk do not listen to recent releases when I’m listening to that kind of records. No wonder people can be a bit “blasé” of hearing less and less hardcore punk of that kind nowadays!

Anyway, CLASS OF ’88!

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