:: Aggressive Dogs aka UZI-ONE & MyGrain (Finland) Japan Tour 2012
Live report : Aggressive Dogs aka UZI-ONE & MyGrain (Finland) Japan Tour 2012 MyGrain [Melodic Death Metal] Aggressive Dogs [Hardcore] Another Story Bale End All Stylerz Of Games Vigilante アニマルズ Glare Obscuritas
Sunday, September 23, 2012 - Club Asia
, TokyoView all concert info
Photographer : Guillaume Catella
After the Blood Axe Festival a few weeks ago, the same "club Asia" in the ever-busy entertainment district Shibuya, hosts another one-day festival organized by another heavy weight of the Japanese Hardcore scene, namely Aggressive Dogs a.k.a Uzi-One. The event, which is the last date of a long 10 days tour all along Japan, is gathering no less than 10 heteroclite bands, all Japanese except the head of the bill, the Finnish MyGrain, with genres ranging from experimented and powerful hardcore to heavy metal, thrash, circus or again catchy melodic death metal.
I also take advantage of their availability during the evening to interview Tommy (vocals) and Resistor (guitar)
the two leaders of MyGrain.
Another Story is a scream / hardcore band of very young but no less potent musicians, that have already released 2 EPs. I arrive at the venue when Another Story (the second band on this very long list) play their last songs, but from the little I saw, the 3 front members were investing all their energy and offered a very intense and well mastered performance.
More about them : http://anotherstory.jp/
The third band to come up on stage is Bale with their mix of hardcore rhythms and high-pitched, piercing death growls. There are still only a few dozens of people in the audience, and the silence between each song is quite burdensome. Older than their previous colleagues, they are also more still.
The following band represents another completely different genre, as End All offers us a punchy and dynamic heavy metal whose main motto seems to be "have fun". Satotsu the singer plays with the crowd in a happy and funny mood, joking about the problems on his bass or showing us and tapping his belly. Musically, their hard rock influences definitely recall Motörhead
, who is incidentally displayed on Satotsu Tshirt.
The guitarist doesn't lack technical skills either, with some great soli, always in this festive and joyful mood.
The crowd, which got much denser, rocked with the band and was fully satisfied by this performance.
Even after such a performance, the show still becomes even more festive as it switches to complete and unrestrained crazy party mood with Animals, a hybrid between metal and fanfare, with no less than 10 people on the small stage, of whom 3 saxophonists and 3 singers running around and jumping all the time. The crowd spends half the time laughing out loud, as the band punctuates its songs with several funny speeches. Musically, their hybrid circus metal is exhilarating and takes as much from metal than reggae, with a song incorporating parts of Bob Marley’s "no woman no cry" for example.
The audience, who now occupies most of the venue, ends up fully satisfied after such a good laugh.
More about them : http://www.vap.co.jp/animals/
Now is the time to get back to the good old school heavy metal with Vigilante, a band in their thirties or forties, all well experimented. One is dressed as a death metal guitarist, while another one looks a bit hippy, and the singer more like Rob Halford with his studded leather gloves and his very high-pitched clear vocals, with sometimes a few growls. They are technically very skilled, especially thanks to their two guitarists who offer us several well mastered solos.
More about Vigilante : http://vigilantemetal.com/
Stylerz of games
After all these different genres with unique identities, we get back to more conventional death-thrash metal with the 4 piece Stylerz of the Games. They play plain and simple brutal death metal, with no superfluous, then unfortunately lacking some particularity or liveliness. If we add the dull and rather poor play of light and the fact that we enter the 5th hour of play tonight, the audience gets dramatically sleepy and passive as a result. The mood then gets down, with long silences between each song, because of too little interaction with the crowd.
More about Stylerz of games : http://www.audioleaf.com/stylerzofgames/
Head Phones President
What a blast ! As we grew a bit tired after a such a long day and numerous bands, Head Phones President gives us a good heavy slap in the face to wake us up. They play an alternative metal with melodic female vocals and gothic metal influences, powerfully and spectacularly executed. Despite their young age they already have a good carrier, debuted in early 2000, with 3 full albums and several worldwide dates done that far. Anza, the explosive and talented young vocalist bursts in passion, twirling in her voluminous gothic skirt, alternating between clear vocals and intense growls. She lets her emotions fill her and radiate, to better conquer the crowd. The rest of the band is equally brilliant, and we can only hope to cross their path again, as this promising band will without doubt get really far.
Learn more about Head Phones President : http://headphonespresident.com/
Now comes the second head of the bill, and the organizers of the event : Aggressive Dogs, a.k.a Uzi-one and their enraged and direct punchy Hardcore. Touring with MyGrain all over Japan, they celebrate 30 years of existence. Having toured abroad in the US with Agnostic Front
, they have gained a great experience of stage performance, and know well how to lead the crowd, especially Uzi-One the vocalist, whose expressiveness radiates his rage as he warms up the audience.
Originating from Kyushu, the island in South West Japan famous for one of the last rebellions of Samurai (inspiring the “last samurai” movie), Aggressive Dogs is impregnated with the Japanese warriors spirit. They placed two full-scale Samurai armors on each side of the drums, and use several ambient epic sounds recalling ancient
battles. Uzi-One, the leader, keeps running back and forth through the small venue, getting on a small platform on the side of the venue, encouraging the audience between each song and prompting them to form circle pits.
In one word, Aggressive Dogs offered us a delightful performance to let off steam.
I was interviewing MyGrain in the crowded, narrow and noisy backstage of the Club Asia during the interlude, as they suddenly had to leave and get on the stage for this last performance.
After a first unique date in Japan last year, MyGrain comes for the second time to the Japanese archipelago, and is well acclaimed by the public that is obviously already conquered. And for good reason, as MyGrain has the perfect alchemy to succeed : a powerful and efficient mix of melodic death metal with futuristic elements, combining furious vocals with catchy rhythms and melodic contributions of keyboards, for an overall sound recalling bands like Soilwork
, At The Gates
or Sybreed. Formed in 2004 in Helsinki, they already have released 3 albums and are about to launch the 4th one.
MyGrain is led by Resistor, guitarist, and by the enthusiastic and always smiling vocalist Tommy, who has no difficulties in conveying his rage and passion to the public. His vocals are impressively good, ranging from rough growls to high clear vocals. He irradiates charisma and knows how to use it to satisfy and carry the crowd.
Despite the lack of sleep
due to a party the previous evening, the other members have no difficulties in executing their neat and incisive parts. The sexy Eve complements the team, adding more melody with her keyboards, and of course some femininity.
As a conclusion, MyGrain offered one of the best shows this year, not only providing a fantastic musical performance, but enhanced with some inexplicable special alchemy, that certainly has to do with the great interaction with the public, or the devotion diligently dedicated to transmitting their passion.
The funny Setlist that was taped on the stage, with all the tracks changed to lewd and nasty names !
Into the Paralympics
Shut Up People
Black Light Spermanova
Strapped in a Whorehouse
Into the Parallel Universe
A Clockwork Apocalypse
Trapped in an Hourglass
After party MyGran
I also publish a few photos of the after party at the Karaoke, for the curious minds ...
Once the live finished, MyGrain invited me to the long after party a few hours before they get on a plane back to Finland. The party was a usual Japanese celebration party, with food, all-you-can-drink beer and cocktails, and of course the unavoidable karaoke, for an unforgivable party !
Several bands had joined the evening, and we drank until 5 am, when the band headed toward the airport ... while I went to work for a difficult monday morning. A wonderful moment to appreciate the kindness and humility of a band that really likes partying !
Also, don't miss the interview with Tommy (vocals) and Resistor (guitar)
during the show.