Tuesday, September 1, 2015


The original plan according to Shin, the bass player, was to play as fast as possible. They attempted to give the impression of playing fast without actually playing fast. The first Gauze recordings are the tracks from the City Rocker compilation LP with features other New Wave bands and Gauze doing 10 songs. They covered Discharge’s "No TV Sketch", but the song title is "Anti-Machine". They released 1984's Fuckheads LP on ADK Records.
Equalizing Distort was released in 1986. They released the Genkai Wa Doko Da (“What’s the Limit?”) LP in 1989, and in 1991 they played a 10th anniversary gig, where they played three sets covering the 3 periods they had gone through in the last 10 years. They played 51 songs over these 3 sets. In 1996, they began a US tour, though it lasted just three shows - a fourth was scheduled, but was cancelled. They played at Gilman St. in Berkeley, at the Bomb Shelter in Minneapolis and in Chicago at the Fireside Bowl. They also recorded songs for a 7” that came out on Prank a little after this, while they were in SF.
Their 12” Kao O Aratte Denaoshite Koi was released in 1997 (translated as “Go wash your face and come back” - a Japanese expression used after someone is physically beaten by someone else).
Gauze is a long-running and (relatively) prolific group. They’ve released five albums through 2007, though it should be noted that these "albums" never run more than twenty minutes in length.
When I was first getting into hardcore, Gauze was the only Japanese band that anyone knew about. Hilariously, almost every Japanese record reviewed in Maximum Rocknroll would be compared to Gauze, however crazily dissimilar they sounded. 
In fact, Gauze is a terrible frame of reference, because they don’t really sound like anyone else. The only comparable group is maybe Infest, not so much because they sound identical, but the frantic pacing and outlandish vocals share a "sensibility," as they say. Almost all other fast, decidedly unmelodic hardcore runs together, but these two bands are crisp without being over-technical, catchy without sacrificing speed, and aggressively raging without any trace of metal attitude. 
Gauze isn’t an ideal "gateway" band into Japanese punk. One could trace the various members and side-projects of Death Side, in much the same way that a jazz novice can move outward from Miles Davis' sidemen—but Gauze’s is a closed universe. Their influences are obscure to me, even now, and their aesthetic, while baffling, is less over-the-top than, say, G.I.S.M.'s., who once threw an x-ray of a blowjob on an album cover.
Gauze was well known for reasons that made a lot of sense before the internet. Not because they were accessible, musically, but because they had a record on an American label, Prank Records. In 1996, Gauze "toured" the US, playing a handful of shows in far-apart cities, and recorded a six-song EP while on our beauteous shores. 
Even in Japan, where their live sets are essentially "workshops" for new material, Gauze plays rarely. For their 25th anniversary show, they recreated each album meticulously, switching to antiquated instruments and equipment in order to perfectly recreate a sound. This is cutesy when the Cure does it, but strangely moving when Gauze (only slightly younger than the Cure) blast through 50 songs in a single night.
Gauze's idea of hardcore is not sophisticated. It is a blunt instrument. There are no guitar solos, no frills: simply high-speed, tuneless ranting. Unlike much Japanese hardcore, it is not "big." Gauze blows you away, not with 200 Marshall stacks and a fuck ton of dry ice, but through expertly honed riffs and pneumatic precision. The simple goal appears not to be so much to entertain the audience as to outlast and overload them. In the great tradition of punk's antagonism towards its audience, this may be the most subtle and cruel approach of all.

Source: Wikipedia.  Biography by Ben Parker

Gauze Discography

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