Sōgo Ishii & Bacillus Army Project – The Strike Back of Asia

I’m not sure what the story with this record is. Sōgo Ishii is a Japanese director known for having done some sort of punk rock/cyberpunk films, but I’m not sure how he was involved in 1983s The Strike Back of Asia, or who the Bacillus Army Project are. I won’t lie – the cover drew me to this record when I saw it at one of Tokyo’s Disk Union stores, and initially I thought the word “Strike” was “Shrike”, which combined with the trippy cover image made me think of Dan Simmons’ sci-fi Hyperion novels… and it wasn’t too expensive so I just bought it.

I guessed this would either be heavy metal or some type of electronica, but I was totally wrong on both accounts. The Strike Back of Asia is pure post-punk, with perhaps the exception of “Backstreet Gangstars,” which is a more or less straight forward rock ‘n’ roll song, complete with the kind of guitar solo you’d expect to see from any bar band. Much of the rest is defined by repetitive beats and strained vocals, which reminds me of a number of European punk/post-punk bands from the same period. In fact many of the songs, including the rock ‘n’ rollish “Backstreet Gangstars” mentioned previously, seem to have this repetitive nature, though at times the pace intensifies which makes it sound even more incessant.

I feel like I should have more to say about this record since it’s pretty cool and I’m sure I’ll be listening to it again… but I don’t know anything about it and it’s in Japanese, so I guess the best I can do is tell you that it’s good.

Leave a Reply