The Disrotted dudes and I woke up on Ryo's living room floor and were served a traditional New Years soup that is supposed to be cleansing for the body (which is very much needed after all the booze we have been drowning in). We enjoyed a nice walk through a very large Buddhist temple, threw some change in the Capitalist Buddha and prayed for good fortune.
Couple of trains later we were back at one of my favorite venues in the world, El Puente. Last year we had the most amazing experience by seeing Sedem Minut Stratchu, Funeral Moth, Final Exit, Su19b, Self Deconstruction, Dark Horse, and a ton more that Im totally spacing out on, in a bar that 50 percent of the space is taken up by gear. Su19b did not hesitate to bring enough gear to fill an arena with sound, let alone a space about the size of your college dorm room.
I actually wasn't planning on drinking as much this time around, but Ryohei had other plans. He is a craft beer nut just as much as I am, so he took me over to Thrash Zone to enjoy some Yokohama Locals. The owner, brewer, and lead bartender was working and we talked shop over a couple of delicious (and pretty goddamn strong) beers. He is a shredder who plays in a band called Marlboro Man, was incredibly kind and his beers were goddamn perfect. We all chatted over a live video of Down and checked out all the extreme music memorabilia covering walls. Definitely a wonderful experience that I will cherish for a long time.
Then came the show. Funeral Moth opened up, and played unusually quiet for all the equipment splayed about. The volume didnt detract from the performance, as they displayed qualities of the Japanese music scene's dedication with every note being perfectly timed, every arrangement meticulously orchestrated, and still dropped me to another place in my mind. These shows are never as "exciting" as the grindcore, noisecore, and hardcore that Japan has to offer, but the cerebral experience is irreplaceable. You transfer to another state of mind during these sets or simply start examining everything in your life to intense magnification. These guys have been drumming up a lot of positive chatter in the states and I will definitely back it up.
Next up was Su19b, blackend powerviolence played at an excruciating high volume. These guys are the definition of a "tight" band. Every one onstage is in sync with one another without any visual cues, and the intensity is brutal. The level of volume that they played at made my ribs vibrate to a nauseous level. This was the start of my descent into jet lag, volume exposure, and being generally drunk.
Then Disrotted answers the challenge that Ryohei had decreed, a 90-minute set. An hour and a half of the slowest, brutalist, aggressively noisy, pounding, crushing, and violently loud, music known to humankind.
With all the cabs and heads in the place, Dean was a kid in a candy store with unlimited credit. He proceeded to devise a plan to make me sick with sound. If you know Dean at all, you know he is truly one of the sweetest, kindest, most considerate human beings on the face of the earth. However, when he has a guitar in his hands, he will try to make you puke by playing so loud. He really laid down the hammer during this set as I was having problems finding the focus on the ring when he was playing because my body was shaking so much from the savage levels being torpedoed upon my ears.
Not gonna lie, I (amongst many others) passed the fuck out during this set. It was a killer. The density of sound and the length of the set, combined with jet lag, and a coupla really amazing beers caused me to crash at the half way point. I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE THOUGH AND I HAVE SAT THROUGH THREE OF THEIR PRACTICES SO IT WAS THE FOURTH TIME OF SEEING THAT SET, MAKOTO, WHO MADE FUN OF ME FOR PASSING OUT.
The set clocked out at exactly one hour and thirty two minutes. They delivered the payload and we were all crushed from it. I woke up to catch the last ten minutes and just observe the devastation splayed about. After words we walked down the street to a friend of Shiggy's (the man) and passed out on his floor. Next up was getting out to Kurawood in Asakusa for some of the most visually appealing shows of the tour.