City Rocker

Madame Edwarda Lorelei Étranger Héliogabale 12″

Reminiscent of English atmospheric pop (VIRGIN PRUNES, etc.), MADAME EDWARDA succeeds moderately with the title track, although as with most examples of this genre, the poppishness and hooks get stretched too thin for the sake of mood. OK.

Phaidia In the Dark LP

Sensational dwellings into the mystical realm of haunting rhythms. Strong similarities to CHRISTIAN DEATH, PHAIDIA mist forth a long LP’s worth of magical, creeping, abrasive, and deadly harmonies that capture the spirit. Good instrumentation and frenzied vocals. If you can get this, it’s a bloody feast.

Star Club Live Hot & Cool LP

A live recording of a trashy ’77-style Japanese punk band. The tempo is generally fast to medium, the guitarist sprouts some tasty licks in the HEARTBREAKERS vein, and the themes are mainly satirical and silly. Some of these songs (like “Middle Class Freaks”) are superior examples of an increasingly rare punk style, and are thus bound to have a certain nostalgic appeal, but Tokyo won’t be reduced to rubble by STAR CLUB.

The Comes No Side LP

Totally intense! This band hits hard with a modern thrash style not unlike that of certain DC bands, in the sense that they are very tight and write songs with good hooks. (Jeff thinks they sound more like Holland’s AGENT ORANGE). Their powerful music is capped by great guitar work and the most aggressive, psychotic, ragged female screamer yet to appear on a punk record. Phew!

V/A Outsider LP

Eight Japanese bands, all recorded live, appear in various states of sound quality here. Side one consists of older-style punk and some noise damage (MASTURBATION, FULLX, ROUTE 66, MADAME EDWARDA), while side two blasts forth with a more modern metal/thrash approach (GISM, the COMES, LAUGHIN’ NOSE, GAUZE). GISM is hot, but the COMES come off the best with their killer thrash. The cover is a CRASS-style package.

V/A City Rockers LP

A four-band effort from Japan hitting on a wide scope of tunes with the maniac punk from GAUZE, PiL-type goodies from ISOLATION and RADICAL, and dreamy stuff from NURSERY RHYME. Great collection to sit back and enjoy when the speed zoomfest is dry. Each band works at their best.