Two words describe this event… totally bitchin’. Brain Scan Laboratory’s inaugural Junk Children event was an awesome night of hot-core industrial sounds on stage and in the DJ box. This is just the beginning of something special.

I know I bluster. I w00t! with an abandon that could shame Molly Meldrum (nah, he ain’t got no shame), but hells bells, there’s some stuff out there that takes all my hyperbola and beats it to death against the amps, and Junk Children is just such an event. This event lived up to my expectations and more and I think all who turned up that night will agree it kicked ass with army boots.

Tight Focus
Anyone who has met the main players of the night know that they are all focused on building the total package. It’s an exceptional attribute in Japan’s underground live scene, where compromising with a general act or splitting the night between underground and general indy is tempting for getting the numbers. BSL went balls out to bring a total dark industrial night to the people and they won with an incredible show and quite a big turnout. In a nutshell, BSL went for gold and they got it.

Marz is a great little split-level space and nicely placed in Shinjuku area. Anyone over six feet should take care at the back of the bottom level, but otherwise there’s good space. Capacity-wise, I guess it could squeeze in around 100, so it worked nicely with the approx 80 people who joined in. The top level is kind of cute offering a full view of the floor below where most of the craziness takes place. The bar ran on tokens, which was a bit of an inconvenience for those of us who didn’t think to bring change for the token machine, but overall it worked pretty well. The deadly drinks were fun-tasting little concoctions, but I lacked the horse-kick I was hoping for. It’s a small quibble, but next time I hope the bar tender is a bit more generous with the shots.

The industrialists and the Goths were out in force. These guys and gals were dressed in line with Tokyo Dark Castle standards. From the dark lords and ladies to the goth-loli swooping across the dance floor it was pure eye-candy. There were a few street-cloven people tonight, but they were in the minority (yes, yes, Igor’s in the minority, but I’m a state-of-mind dreg).


Scorpions Death Rock
I saw these guys back in 2004 and they had an awesome power-metal performance with amps going up to eleven (report here). It was brutality incarnate with some of the hardest stuff I have ever heard in Japan, and it was great! This time they had totally changed to an incredibly sexy rock-industrial set in perfect sync with the night’s vibe. There is no mistaking it, these guys know how to deliver exactly what the crowd want. The lead vocalist had total control at the front had the crowd eating out of his hand. Great songs and great delivery, these guys are quality. Definitely a band worth checking at any event.

Demonoid 13
The Nagoyan live component showed that hard Goth rock is alive in central Japan. It was also fucking loud! Doom Spider has a powerful, guttural voice and took the central role onstage. The straight Goth-rock direction of the set was a bit different from the other acts during the night, but Doom Spider’s aggressive delivery and energy got most of the punters jumping. It would have been nice to see more of the other players getting into the fray at the front, but it was not a bad set at all and showed that the Nagoyan Goths have a lot of madness to deliver.

BAAL :: Baal on
What can I say – great delivery of some fantastic new hard industrial-rock sounds. Baal doesn’t hold back its performance and all the players know the craft well, making them a band you want to catch over and over again. U-Tarou’s femme vocals are powerful, splitting the anger with the sorrow and seeing her tear through the set is a sight to behold. Mikito’s calmly focused throughout the set with his axe and mixing the synth deck to pull the sound-scape together. Then there’s Chihiro on the drums (YES!), who’s got controlled madness in getting the percussion heard. It’s a grand mix of talents pulling off an aural attack that will excite anyone who likes industrial or tripping the darker side of rock.

Despair :: Despair on
Utter madness with an industrial sound assault delivered with the precision of a master craftsmen. Every time I see this band on stage (or off), I see a leading force in Tokyo’s industrial scene. The band is raw energy with Seiji on ax-synth tearing apart the air with an orgy of sound, and Rieu and Ana fighting back with vocalizations that will raise the dead. The sound drills right through you and the visuals are just as exciting with all three members getting lots of front time. Totally mind-blowing, totally exhausting, totally… just freakin’ TOTALLY!

A special mention goes to the DJs for mixing some great stuff. DJs Doom Spider (Stigmatic in Nagoya), 666Fox, Undermine (Despair’s Rieu), all kept the spirit of the night going between sets with their different flavors of sound.

Totally kicking. It knocked me out. It will know you out. Despair, Baal & company have pulled together a fine night of hot-core industrial event and rest-assured the Brain Scan Laboratory promotion is here to stay. Welcome to the start of the next-age…

Baal and Despair will both be appearing in October 29th’s Halloween edition of Tokyo Dark Castle.

Links to more information:

Brain Scan Laboratory

Despair’s site
Despair on (samples!)

Baal’s site
Baal on (samples!)

Demonoid 13

Scorpion’s Death Rock (HELP! I can’t find them!!)

Stigmatic (DJ Doom Spider’s event in Nagoya)

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