Wednesday, November 25, 2009



ZERO:HOUR (1989)


04. 薔薇心中(Bara Shinjuu)
08. (untitled)

YOU-SAKU MIYAZAKI (guitars, chorus)

Guest musician:

Released: 1989
Label: Psycho Records
Catalogue number: PR-01

Lenght: 29:52
Bitrate: 320 kbps

Here's a totally obscure gem from the very infancy of visual kei. This is the first and only album by VOISS, recorded at Studio PENTA in 1989 and released the same year. It was probably the only ever release on Psycho Records, which was a subsidiary of the Yokohama 7th Avenue livehouse. Even though no other releases followed (as far as I know) the band stayed active for a couple of more years, sharing stages with Deshabillz and Mother Goose among others.

Seemingly the band came and went without causing much of a blip on the VK-radar so information about them is scarce to say the least ...heck, they're not even mentioned on Grass Thread!

Focusing on the music; VOISS has some driven, new wave-y 80:s stuff in store for us. Starting off the record is the amazing "I WANNA GET IT" with it's precise, minimal riffage on the guitar and general 80:s kind-of-dark mood. The verses in particular are brilliant - you just have to love those shards of clean guitar (sounding cold enough to give you frost-bite) coupled with KIKUCHI's slightly demented vocal stylings.

"SEXAROID INSANE" is a more laid back affair than the previous track, with a certain "floating" kind of feel. Happily the bass is pushed a bit more to the front of the mix giving this track a slightly fuller sound than both the previous and subsequent tracks. Apparently being about the life and times of a futuristic sex-robot (or something like that) this is an infectious little ditty particular the bouncy chorus has a tendency to stay with you. It's followed by the short and confusing "FROM BEYOND" - a ominous pseudo-experimental transition piece.

Next up is "薔薇心中" (which should transliterate as "Bara Shinjuu", but feel free to correct me on this). This is reminiscent of the first track, albeit less hectic and more melancholic. Also of a minimalistic nature, much of the song is centered around a simple but very nice figure on the guitar thoroughly marinated in reverb and delay. I'm really digging the super-stiff eighties drumming here; rivalling even DIE-KÜSSE's "Egoistic" when it comes to unflexible drumpatterns. Here we also hear the first apperance of guest musician NOBUYUKI SASAHARA on keyboards, swathing the chorus in synthesized choirs and possibly also producing the harsh flanging noise heard during the bridge.

The harrowing "IRONICAL AGITATION" follows; definitely one of the absolute highlights of this record. The track mainly oscillates between a hauntingly gorgeous riff (with it's spider-crawling-up-your-leg guitarwork and an positively eerie bass-line) and harsh vocal parts framed by unrelentingly austere drum-pounding and punctuated by stabs of syntheziser. Also of notice is a screwy-ass synth solo breaking off the oppressive mood in a stupidly great way.

Another favorite follows, namely "PSYCHIC FORCE". A little bit mellower than the previous track, despite the semi-metallic verses. Really nice vocals here; very melancholic and more than a bit dramatic, though not overblown - in particular I'm fond of the refrain. Overall the quirkyness of this track reminds me of the peculiar sounds produced by bands such as LIGHT & SHADE and VELVET ENDROIT (both to be forthcoming on this blog). The pace is furtherly slowed down with the final track - the nice and passionate, if perhaps a bit indistinct, ballad "PARADISE LOST".

One would think that the fun is over by here, but the band were thoughtful enough to embed a secret, unlisted eight track on the disc comprised mainly of backwards drum-machine, some mumbled words and a little sequencer toodling along. Actually quite cool!

Like the previously posted Genkaku Mime EP, this was also one of those on-a-whim purchases ("hmm, what's this? A totally unknown band and white cover photo of guys posing 'artily' ...released in 1989 on an independent label called ...PSYCHO RECORDS!? Oh man, this has got to be good!") that proved to surpass any and all expectations.

I for one would be quite keen to hear what more this band had to offer, but sadly it seems that ZERO:HOUR was all that was ever recorded by VOISS. At least to my knowledge anyway - wouldn't it be nice if there were a demo or a gig-freebie single floating around out there somewhere?

Divshare / Mediafire / Depositfiles

Guitarist YOU-SAKU in action.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I'm glad the blog is active again.

Anonymous said...

thanks for that upload!
oh, and they also have a demo tape with a live song called BELLADONNA. i found it here:

nattliga_toner said...

Awesome! I had a feeling some kind of demo or something would be floating around out there ...I guess I should be checking out Mbok more often!

Although I'm more than curious, I'll let that tape slide for now my eyes peeled on some other stuff right now. Were my wallet less slim I'd totally go for it though!

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Anonymous said...

thanks so much

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