Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Music Kenkyukai, a student-run metal band club

Ritsumeikan University has a pretty awesome metal cover-band student club called New Music Kenkyukai (New-Ken). They form cover bands of all kinds of genres, from rock bands like Queen and Motley Crue, to metal acts like Arch Enemy and Anthrax, to emo-core bands.

There are some really talented musicians in this club, and some New-Ken members go on to form bands after graduation.

New-Ken has been putting on shows this week in collaboration with other music clubs on campus in part to try and convince a few new students to join.

立命館大学では、「ニューミュージック研究会」(ニュー研)というメタルバンドコピー中心としたメッチャかっこいいバンドサークルがある。コピーバンドの幅はホントに広い:ハードロックのQueenとMotley Crueや、ガチメタルのArch EnemyとAnthrax、エモコアまでジャンルにこだわらずとりあえずかっこいい音を出す、って感じ。



Their main event is during the school festival in the fall, at the only metal event at a university in the Kansai area (I think). I highly recommend going to this. The students put a lot of work into each performance. Awesome guest bands from around Japan also play at this event.
ニュー研のメインイベントは立命館学際の一部として行われるRITS METAL。関西で唯一の大学メタルイベント(だっけ?)。

This weekend, at Growly, a venue near Nijo station in Kyoto, Kiba of Akiba (キバオブアキバ), a band featuring New-Ken members will play as part of Tokyo act Angagement’s tour.
Kiba of Akiba is just tons of fun. Just watch their official video to see what I mean.


Also playing is Kyoto’s female-fronted Japanese metal act AufHeben. They have lots of energy and Japanese metal is melodious and awesome.

The show is Sunday, April 22, Open 17:00 Start 17:30.

Another band that features a New-Ken member is Apostosis, who just released an album and video

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March 29, Socrates Kyoto: Graf Orlock, Dangers, Mortalized, etc.

Thursday night. Finish work. Ride my bicycle down to Socrates, a live venue in Kyoto the size of my apartment.

I had just been to this venue the last Sunday to see a collaboration grind/hardcore show, and a couple of these bands hosted two bands on tour from the US: Dangers, a hardcore/punk (genre arguable) and Graf Orlock, a movie sound-clip infused grind band. I’d never heard of these bands before, but my grind fanatic friend told about Graf Orlock, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to bike down and see these young punk trailblazers for 1500 yen on their Japan tour. (Japan tours are the highlight of every indie/punk band’s career, right?)

Half the crowd was band members, and everyone was kinda chill being Thursday night and recovering from last Sunday’s show, but the bands’ performances were awesome.
The event is called Smell the Coffee (I saw Melt Banana before as part of the same event) and I understand it’s hosted by Ball Busters.


ツアーバンドとは、グラインドのGraf OrlockさんとハードコアバンドのDangersさん。近くでツアーバンドが見れる、しかも1500円で!見逃すわけにはいかない。


今回のイベントはSmell the Coffeeというイベント。前レジェンドのMelt Bananaを同じイベントでも見て、すごく楽しかった。このイベントはBall Bustersが主催してるようなことを聞いた

Bloodball, a local hardcore band, played Sunday’s show. I don’t know too much about them, but their name always appears on local hardcore event posters. Loud, energetic, brutal, tight hardcore. Their vocalist has tons of charisma and just makes me want to shout along. Once I figure out the lyrics...
Last Sunday, by the way, they played a packed show, everyone was into it, lots of fun. Actually this video explains it pretty well.

Ball Busters
Old-school hardcore riffs meshed with funky jamming sessions. This is a great band to listen to with a beer in your hand, until the vocalist comes diving at you.

Kyoto’s legendary three-piece grind band. Blistering fast drums, technical riffs mixed with some melancholic chords, and an awesome vocalist. If you’re in Kyoto, I highly recommend checking out this band.

I listened to them for the first time right before the show, which is too bad because this is a band worth knowing the lyrics beforehand. Really poetic and really vicious hardcore at the same time. Not quite old school, but never new-school emo breakdown stuff. They remind me a lot of broken-up Modern Life is War, whose hoodie I happened to be wearing that night.
The vocalist was really, really intense.

Graf Orlock
Graf Orlock’s wikipedia description is pretty awesome. Their show is too. The guitarist (also the guitarist for Dangers?) plays the samples before launching into shredding grind.

A member of a Tokyo band Endzweck was accompanying the bands, and he gave me his demo. Pretty cool stuff.

I also walked out with the tour shirt, two bands shirts in one!

That’s my show report! Stay tuned for more.