Bleach with Midori, Electric Eel Shock, Detroit7
@ Shimokitazawa Shelter (23rd Apr. '07)
Too Good To Resist
It's not too often I want to stand through a four-band bill on a Monday evening, but this line-up was just too good to resist. Others obviously felt the same judging from the queue outside of a very sold-out Shelter as eager Tokyoites packed inside the cramped, basement club for a fantastic mix of punk and rock sounds.
Tokyo's Detroit7 got things started with a healthy dose of rock n' roll. Bassist Tomomi Nabana's husky vocals gave their alternative-tinged tracks a bluesy edge. Wasting little time during their 30-minute set, the seasoned hard-hitting trio had little trouble entertaining early arrivers with selections from last year's Great Romantic.
As Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" played in the background, Electric Eel Shock took to the stage. Kazuto Maekawa drank a beer and high-fived audience members before strapping on his bass and guitarist Akihito Morimoto sang along to the metal classic while doing some last second tuning. Once everything was good to go, Morimoto said in his best arena voice, "Ah, yeah Shimokitazawa. We are Electric Eel Shock from Japan." while his band mates kicked into "Suicide Rock & Roll."
Equal parts punk and old school metal, the Tokyo trio got everyone up front jumping and chanting "bastard" as during the track of the same name from 2005's "Beat Me." Naked drummer Gian (well almost naked, he had a long gym sock covering his genitals) was an animal behind the kit, pounding away with four drum sticks at once. Trying to match his energy, Morimoto held his guitar in with his mouth at one point while Maekawa simply rocked out with relentless fury.
Having a soft spot for stand-up basses, I was immediately intrigued as Osaka's Midori prepped for their set. Led by vocalist and guitarist Midori Goto, the quartet, which also featured keyboardist Hajime and drummer Yoshitake Kozen turned in a highly entertaining set of noisy, pop-punk standards from their recently released sophomore disc, "Second."
Dressed as a crazed school girl, Goto's cosplay antics were obviously the focal point and she jumped off of monitors and Kozen's bass drum. No slouch himself, the electric stand-up bassist waved his large instrument over the crowd and at one point lifted it over his head while playing. In a rather strange, albeit friendly, move at one point he even grabbed a spectator's head and licked it. Rising to the challenge poised by her band mate, Goto trashed around on stage before literally walking on the crowd. Stepping on the hands and shoulders of the audience she traveled almost to the back of the room before dropping to the ground as Midori's final track came to an end.
Nearing the end of a three-week Japanese tour and prepping for an equally long jaunt across the western United States (where they are known as Bleach 03) in May , Bleach exploded out of the gate with a fantastic half-hour of punk and hardcore anthems. Possessing the ability to scare the piss out of small children (and some adults for that matter), bassist Miya looked like a crazed serial killer as she let loose what was to be the first of many deafening roars.
The crowd eagerly pumped their fists and sang along as the "three girls from Okinawa" ripped through nearly a dozen songs during their brief performance. While Miya's eyes nearly popped out of her head and she almost swallowed her microphone every time she screamed, guitarist Kanna's vocals were much less aggressive. Singing soft and fast, the contrast in singing styles allowed for Bleach to play hard, thrashy music without being overpowering.
A handful of new, heavy cuts previewed towards the end of the show were greeted with praise from the appreciative audience. Emerging for an encore at the crowd's request, Sayuri's (who was wearing Midori t-shirt) powerful drumming set the pace for one last blast of rock to close out a great night.
report by shawn and photos by ryota|