Suffer Damage LP
I was afraid I would fail trying to tell the history of GESS, but the insert helps me out. They formed in ’83 when they were 15 years old and this record—which is their demo tape—came out a year later. Not until ’86 did members from CONFUSE and SIEG HEIL join. If you are into this sort of history, go get General Speech and More Noize zines and get educated and laugh on my ignorance. Anyway, this release is the first vinyl edition of the demo tape of the band that is pure noise-core madness. Guitars are distorted into one annoying line of noise, and within this chaotic thread of buzz I found all the beauty of the world; the bass is interpretable and dynamic compared to some of their successors where it is just dumb (but great) poking. The beat is constantly pumping although the endless noise, introducing a sort of monotony that prevents you from catching a heart attack. Makes me wonder if it is the beat that is monotonous or the guitar, though I focus on the guitar; the whole band is all over the place and it feels as if it is spinning around in a museum. Synthesizing what’s going on here would result in rudimental punk songs performed with enthusiasm, but the point is that you should synthesize my ass! GESS is great because 15-year-old kids in Japan thought that they would make the noisiest music that sounds as my grandma would imagine hell—the singer does sound like a possessed person—and how they heard DISCHARGE and possibly DISORDER in their head. What’s even better is that decades later whole record labels, festivals, genres, lives are spent on hailing this radically pioneer approach that sadly has become a strict establishment that is rarely renewed despite the liberating idea of the brave approach of creating a unique sound. Beside the Suffer Damage tape on side A, there is a live recording on side B and props to then-current technology that both recording sound the same. A CD is also included with two gigs from the Violent Party Gigs series, but I have no idea where to put that in. The vinyl plays great both on 33 1⁄3 and 45 rpm. The review is based on both paces.