Tolive Live CD
This band from Kyushu Island was already included on the Downright Vulgarities compilation (also released on Black Konflik Records) that I reviewed a couple of months ago, and unsurprisingly, the band delivers seven new tracks of the traditional ’80s Japanese sound. To be honest, if you told me that TOLIVE used to be active between 1984 and 1987 and that this was a reissue, I would definitely believe you, especially if you caught me at my most gullible. The singer sounds exactly like your typical ’80s Japanese hardcore singer (think GUDON or GISM, obviously), and this confers a delicious vintage feel to the recording, which I suppose is what the band goes for. Musically, this is classically executed Japanese hardcore with those triumphant riffs and characteristic high-energy backing choruses that you can shout along to with clenched fists. The production is quite raw and simple so that it almost has a stripped-down feel, which may not be intentional. In any case, I think TOLIVE would have benefited from a more energetic and refined sound. The cover looks absolutely beautiful, though. I am not the biggest fan of this brand of traditional mid/late ’80s Japanese hardcore, but I am convinced this would appeal to the nerds who are.