Smash Your Face – “Dirty, Nasty, & Fuckin’ High Energy”

I don’t have a lot of experience with Japanese bands, though I have reviewed a handful over the past few years including punks like Total Fury, SS, Shonen Knife, and Guitar Wolf… so I guess I’ve listened to more of them than I’d originally thought. If there are two things that Japanese musicians know, in my mind, it’s how to put on a visually interesting show (if you don’t believe me, go to Google and search for Babymetal; you’re welcome) and hardcore. The Japanese hardcore bands are 100% hardcore. Accept no imitations. Accept no substitutes.

I’ve made an effort to get into hardcore, but frankly have struggled with all but the earliest efforts from when the scene was new. There’s a lot of noise and speed and noise and shouted vocals and noise… and I find I can’t get past the noise. I’m not saying it’s crap or anything; it’s just that I can’t connect to it as well as I can a lot of other genres. I have a hard time differentiating the songs from one another on albums like Dirty, Nasty, & Fuckin’ High Energy, though the opener on side B “To Get New Blood” was one notable exception. The B side in general is a bit more distinctive to my ears, but this could very well simply be because I’m more tuned into Smash Your Face’s sound after surviving the onslaught of side A.

This was another of my pickups from our trip to Vancouver, where I had no trouble at all finding punk records. I’ll be headed to Japan later this summer and I’m hoping to come back with a stack of vinyl by Japanese bands… though I’ll probably focus more on the metal, early punk, and pop at the expense of the hardcore. The vinyl quest continues…

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