Tuesday, October 28, 2008

tongue on rye

Horror is about transgression. The blurring of boundaries. Or maybe its just about a three-hundred year old monster sucking people's brains out through the back of their necks with his razor sharp forked tongue.

I first saw clips of this little Mexican dandy on USA Network's divine Reel Wild Cinema, a show I sorely miss. I still have my fan club card. Sandra Bernhard hosted clips of Z-grade treats wearing tight leopard print numbers or lime-green pleather. Suffice to say every element of that show made a big impression on my teen-age psyche. El Baron del Terror (or the American release title of The Brainiac, cause, ya know, he eats brains) was one of the stranger flavors introduced.

Note: I tried to set this up as a download so you could have the whole film for your own. Couldn't get it to work, though. You can watch the movie on youtube at least.

now go get that tongue action!

suffer for a world of silence.....

I had been entertaining the idea of starting a blog. And this album is as good a one to start with as any. Its one I listen to all the time. Any time.

BALZAC have become one of the most musically dynamic and prolific bands operating today. But back in the early '90s they were struggling to make a name for themselves in Osaka's punk rock underground. The Last Men On Earth was their first full length album. It was recorded in only a few days and for not much money and released in 1995 by Alchemy Records. It has been out of print for a while and is hard to find. And expensive. Last Men displays a culmination of their early sound, which was strongly influenced by SAMHAIN and early GASTUNK. And yeah, orginal bassist Anti did try his damnedest to look like Jerry Only. However in these songs you can already hear lead singer Hirosuke's unique sensibilities at work. The fusion of pop melodies and hooks with bleak death punk drive. Although most of the songs are named after B-grade horror films, lyrically we are in far different waters:

Psycho in 308

"It's coming down.....
Millions in the black
Lose sight of the road that's ahead
Psycho in 308
Black or white?
Suffer for a world of silence
Is home a world of chaos?
Everybody's lost their own way
Is home a world of sadness?
Everybody's lost their own way
Thousands of tears
Take in your tears"

All the lyrics to this album were first written in Japanese and then translated into English by some Canadian guy in another Osaka hardcore band. The original Japanese has a different nuance to it, but the akward English all over this album has an abstract beauty all its own. BALZAC still play a few of these songs live. I've seen them three times when I've been in Japan and the crowd always goes fucking apeshit when the guys launch into any Last Men material. Yeah, I like this album a lot.

Now go get it