Archive for the ‘Endon’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: ENDON-Through the Mirror (2017).

Endon’s Through the Mirror is one of the most punishing musical experiences I’ve ever had.  They opened for Boris a few months ago and their live show was incredibly intense.  It’s no surprise that their album is, too.

When I was looking at their merch, this guy came up behind me and said, that their debut album, MAMA made him want to kill himself.  But this album was different, more enjoyable.  I thanked him for saving my life.

Endon hail from Japan and call their music “catastrophic noise-metal.”

The first song is the five and a half-minute “Nerve Rain.”  It is, simply put, a wave of noise.  The guitarist plays a loud distorted guitar–very quickly.  Non-stop for 2 and a half minutes.  It is accompanied by fast pounding drums.  In the background there are all kinds of warbling electronic noises.  After two and a half minutes the noise ends abruptly.  It starts again exactly the same after a few seconds.  This continues for the rest of the song, stopping and starting at more frequent intervals.  It is relentless.  Somebody please put the entire Republican party into a room and play this at them for 24 hours.

The second song, “Your Ghost is Dead” introduces a singer, Taichi Nagura.  The drums are twice as fast, the guitar is also incredibly fast and when the singer comes in, he uses a complicated mix of cookie monster vocals, screams, wails and desperate lashing out.  I have no idea if there are any words to these songs or if he’s just making noise.  Sometimes he’s buried under the rest of the noise.  Interestingly there’s even a cool somewhat mellow guitar riff in the middle of this song–if you removed it from the noise surrounding it, it would be very catchy.  About half way through the song, the noise stops, the riff comes through clean and then Taichi Nagura can be heard crying.   And then it all takes off again.

“Born in Limbo” slows things down with an interesting drum beat.  But the bulk of the song is manipulated sounds and effects–primarily screams, from both tapes and the lead singer.  In fact Taichi Nagura’s screams are rhythmic and strangely catchy.  There’s a Mike Patton component to this song for sure.  The middle of the song even has a somewhat traditional (wailing) guitar solo.

“Pensum” is only 90 seconds long and it is 90 seconds of pummeling noise.  It’s followed by “Postsex” which is more of the same with extra focus placed on Taichi Nagura ‘s vocals which are varied and run through a gamut of pain.

“Perversion Til Death” is 10 minutes long.  It opens with some crazy fast drumming and a slow melodic guitar melody that’s more or less buried under a wall of noise.  This song is a lot slower and more ponderous than the others, with some heavy drums, squalling guitars and screamed vocals just done at a different pace.  Until the final two minutes which are just heavy pounding.

“Through the Mirror” has some interesting guitar ideas buried under a wall of squealing feedback.  Just before the song turns into a breakneck hardcore pace there’s a ten second respite with an interesting riff and nothing else.  And then pummel.  Around three minutes the noise drops away and you get super fast drums with some electronic sounds and Taichi Nagura all-out screaming but in that strangely melodic way again.  It lasts for about 30 seconds before ethe breakneck noise (and growling takes over).  The song slows down with him weeping as pleasant guitars take over.  While these pleasant chords continue playing through, he starts screaming at the top of his lungs in mortal pain.

“Torch Your House” ends this disc with a 9 minute epic.  The song begins quietly, with some pretty guitars and gentle washes of sounds.  They explore chords for about 2 and a half minutes before the drums and noise take over,  but the guitar solo is able to pierce through the wall of noise.  Taichi Nagura screams throughout in bursts, but the guitars stay largely guitar-sounding not noise-making.  Around five-minute the whole things turns into a rocking metal song.  For the last minute or so, it all mellows out with an acoustic guitar playing the melody.  Until the last 30 seconds when the noise returns over and a five-beat drum pattern as the song crashes to an end.

Musical endurance.

[READ: September 23, 2017] “Who’s Laughing Now?”

I have enjoyed most of Tom Bissell’s writing in Harper’s  He writes about a wide array of things, including entertainment.  A while back I read a lot of his older articles and it was enjoyable to read things hat were not current anymore.  And that may be why I didn’t enjoy this article as much.  It is too current.  Too painful.  I can’t believe he hasn’t been impeached yet.

Bissell suggests that trump and SNL were made for each other.  He was the rare novelty guest to have hosted twice.  Once in 2004 to promote The Apprentice and again in late 2015 to soften perception of a presidential campaign widely seen as alarming.  Some would accuse SNL of normalizing him after this (although his being a celebrity of three decades certainly had something to do with it).

Both Times he was on ratings were great so… who used whom? (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 28, 2017] Boris

I’ve been a fan of Japanese band Boris for about ten years since my friend Lar got me into them.  But I really got into them with the reissue of Pink last year.  I was bummed to have just missed their tour supporting the Pink reissue and immediately put them on the top of my bands to see live.

And how much do I love that touring poster.

There was a rumor that they were about to call it quits after 25 years, but they decided to do one last album (which has turned into something more entirely).  It also meant another tour of the States.

I could say that I was slightly disappointed when I discovered that they were only going to be playing the new album in its entirety, until that is I realized that Boris could play pretty much anything I and I’d be excited to see them (plus the new album is really good). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 28, 2017] Helms Alee

It was going to be hard to follow up Endon.  And thankfully, Helms Alee did not try to out-intense them.

Rather, they went for a different sound–one that was really fantastic.

Helms Alee is a trio from Seattle.  I was standing more or less in front of bassist Dana James and drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis.

Dana James had an incredible bass sound.  Low and fat and loud and rumbly.  It was great.  And Hozoji Matheson-Margullis was so intense on the drums.  Her kit was fairly small (I loved the design on the drum head even if I still can’t figure it out), but man, did she bring the power.

On the right was guitarist Ben Verellen.  He and James played similar rumbling riffs for much of the songs, but he would occasional punctuate the songs with some great solos.   (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 28, 2017] Endon

I had never heard of Endon before this show.  They are a Japanese metal band who seems to have coined the term “catastrophic noise metal.”

And they were easily the most intense band I have ever seen live.

The guys on the left walked out on stage.  They said nothing, just picked up their gear.  The guitarist played a chord and everyone around me immediately put in earplugs. (more…)

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