My big bad Ultra Fuckers page

Yes, there is no Japanese band more infamous than the Ultra Fuckers (also known as UxFx, which uses an abbreviation/euphemism style along the lines set down by SxOxBx and other like-minded punk and scum bands). This website is a tribute to this legendary unit and offers:

  • Band information
  • Chronological CD and DVD reviews
  • Photos
  • Historical concert reviews
  • Links to live videos
  • Slackness

About the band:

This is how the band describes itself on its Lost Frog band page:

UF called “King of Scum” “Psychedelic Warrior” in Osaka. Their happy sound bridges from HC/Flexi-your-head style to German/Klaut rock. Fully retarded and naked in funny noise taste. Their produce event “Scum Nite” anytime, Faxed Head, Caroliner Rainbow, Zip Code Rapists, Half Japanese, UG Man, ENE, Monotract, Mr.Velocity Hopkins, etc. acted in past.

Note the creative use of misspellings (“Klaut rock”), intentional or otherwise. The band members are:

Kawai Kazuki Langley – Masked Vocal, Jaminator
Izumi Headache – Talentless Guitar
Tom Nagata – Non-breakable Drums
Past members: Irie Kazuma, Matsumoto Kamekichi Takuya, Ishikuma Manabu, Mob Norio (who won the Akutagawa Prize, the highest honor of the literary world in Japan, in 2004 for Introduction to Nursing Care (介護入門 Kaigo nyu-mon), which describes how a man takes care of his ailing, aging grandparent.

A bit of background. I lived in Taiwan in the mid-nineties, and while it was a nice experience I missed taking in the live music experience I only got a small taste of in my college town of Waterloo (memorable bands I got to see there were Nomeansno and Art Bergman, although Fugazi came through on their In On The Killtaker tour that brought them to Guelph… which I, quite stupidly, didn’t bother to go to).

In 1998 I moved to Osaka, Japan, and started looking into what the live scene there had to offer, not even realising that it was probably one of the best in the world at that time. One of the first shows I ever saw in Osaka had the Ultra Fuckers on the bill. Loving their name just as much as their anarchic show, I followed them through the years until I moved off to Singapore in 2003.

I’ve stayed in touch with Kawai Kazuki Langley, the band’s lead singer and main madman. Via mail from Singapore, I’d share with him my video recordings of Ultra Fuckers shows that I’d recorded, compiling three of them on a home-made DVD that I called “A Half Dozen Ulra Fuckers Fans Can’t B e Wrong”, with the credits calling it “Hangover in Death City.” The opening shot is the classic scene of Kawai jumping off his stepladder, somersaulting in the air, and landing on his shoulder (which resulted in a visit to the hospital). The scene is slowed down, and the musical accompaniment is Cat Power’s short cover of “Free Bird” (0:38 – just the right length). The DVD contains 27 tracks and is footage from three concerts the band played in 2002 and 2003, including one where they opened for Half Japanese. I sent it to Kawai in April, 2005.

In 2007 I got an email from him saying that he’d put it out as a DVD called Bone Crush Memory, and he sent me a copy of it for my very own. Popping it into the player, I saw that it is the exact DVD that I had made for him, not a thing changed! At the same time, he also sent me a few other Ultra Fuckers odds ‘n’ ends, including the King of Scum Ultra Fuckers at KB*CC 2003 CD, which is a sound rip of 12 tracks from the DVD! So Kawai got two products out of my little present to him and the band. Now, do I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of? Should I? Of course not!! This is the Ultra Fuckers we’re talking about here, it’s my honour to be a small part of this great thing!!!!! Thanks, Kawai!

I’ve put all of the clips from the DVD online for the public’s viewing pleasure:

I last heard from him this year in January when he was looking for ways to book his friend’s band, Ydestroyde, in the US. I’d love to bring them to Singapore, my band could open for them; let’s see how it goes.

Hey, some guy called Carlton Mellick III wrote a book called Ultra Fuckers!! It’s suburban horror!!! Groovy cover, man… Read my review of the book here.

UFCMIII

UFCMIII

Ultra Fuckers discography

ULtra Fuckers discography

Ulftra Fuckers Old Warrior's Worship

Ulftra Fuckers Old Warrior’s Worship

Old Warrior’s Worship MP3 album, 2008, Lost Frog Productions – This is a rehash of the band’s Retail Karaokei EP, down to every last song. Download the full album and artwork here, read the review of Retail Karaokei below.

Ultra Fuckers Radio Controlled Scum

Ultra Fuckers Radio Controlled Scum

Radio Controlled Scum live CD, 2008, mimi records – The first song on this, “Mars Sky Girls” is sort of ambient, albeit with pretty heavy drums, and Kawai’s aggressive moaning, muttering and hollering on top of it all. The song builds and builds and builds, until it becomes quite mental, but other than that it is rather same-y (the way all ambient music is, of course). “Evening After Broke” has harmonica and weird shrill-and-googly electronics going up and along. It’s just a short song that doesn’t really try to go anywhere. “Radio Controlled Scum” has a disco beat with some muttering and stuttering. “In the Microwave (remix)” is keyboard doodling over light beats, while “Live 2006.04.09 (bonus)” is a short, one-minute sample of nifty beats and crowd yelling. Yay.

Ultra Fuckers Bone Crush Memory DVD

Ultra Fuckers Bone Crush Memory DVD

Ultra Fuckers “Bone Crush Memory” video archives 2002-2003 DVD, 2007, Central Scum – After I moved to Singapore in 2003, I stayed in touch with Kawai by email, and now Facebook. In 2005, I edited my old video cartridges with my new iMac and burned a DVD of my video recordings of Ultra Fuckers shows that I’d recorded, compiling three of them on a home-made DVD that I called “A Half Dozen Ulra Fuckers Fans Can’t B e Wrong”, with the credits calling it “Hangover in Death City.” The opening shot is the classic scene of Kawai jumping off his stepladder, somersaulting in the air, and landing on his shoulder (which resulted in a visit to the hospital). The scene is slowed down, and the music is Cat Power’s short cover of “Free Bird” (0:38 – just the right length). The DVD contains 27 tracks and is footage from three concerts the band played in 2002 and 2003, including one where they opened for Half Japanese. I sent it to Kawai in April, 2005.

In 2007 I got an email from him saying that he’d put it out as a DVD called “Bone Crush Memory”. He sent me a copy, and when I put it in I saw that the contents is the exact same DVD that I had made for him, not a thing changed! He also sent me a few other Ultra Fuckers odds ‘n’ ends, including the “King of Scum Ultra Fuckers at KB*CC 2003″ CD, which is a sound rip of 12 tracks from the DVD! So Kawai got two products out of my little present to him and the band. So, do I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of? Of course not!! This is the Ultra Fuckers we’re talking about here, it’s my honour to be a small part of this great thing!!!!!

The best thing about the DVD is the packaging, which says:

Special thanks to Matt Caufman (Exile osaka), Jad Fair and Half Japanese, Jason Willet, Fuck to hospital.
Recorded and Directed by Peter Brian Holfich.
Presented by Nerdby Pictures.

That’s me, Peter Brian Hoflich, and “Nerdby Pictures” is my iMac-based production house. So, hooray, I get my first real film credit! Matt Kaufmann’s name is misspelled too… oh well.

There’s also a cool line drawing illustrating Kawai’s famous stage jump, which I’ve managed to capture so awesomely (if I do say so myself) on the release, and which can be seen in the opening credits. The jump can be seen at the end of this clip:

This video, by the way has been seen 15,000 times!!!

The video shows the raucousness of the shows, as well as the people in the audience having a great time. I don’t need to review this, though, you can check it out for yourselves in a a YouTube playlist of all 27 tracks on the DVD:

Ultra Fuckers with Droppen G. in Nagoya 2006.Jan.28 DVD

Ultra Fuckers with Droppen G. in Nagoya 2006.Jan.28 DVD

Ultra Fuckers with Droppen G. in Nagoya 2006.Jan.28. DVD, 2006, Central Scum – Nearly forty minutes of live music, it opens up with the band setting up onstage, with the infamous stepladder on the left side, and then Kawai gets going with his nutty audience babble with the bag over his head. Yay. There is a drummer, two tables of electronic gear, a strange person with a fuzzy sheepskin hat like the one my mom had when I was a kid who mainly bobs around and stomps the stage in beat, and the show builds up weird noise and strangeness. After a while, Kawai puts on his toy guitar, but I don’t hear any of the usual sounds coming out of it. He groans and garbles and gnashes his teeth. The wooly hat person uses drumsticks on the stage itself for percussion, meanwhile the drummer is still not doing anything. Kawai’s voice becomes robotic. Pretty keyboards kick in, the drummer gets going at about the 10-minute mark, the lyrics become soothing and echo-y. The music becomes weird techno/disco, dominated by the stepladder-percussion that just gloms on and on and on and on. The noise starts to get really quite abrasive 25 minutes into the show, and Kawai is spazzing into the mic, his voice sounding like electric shocks. In the last five minutes, drummer Tom Nagata went crazy on the drums, while stepladder artist Tamon Sin climbed the ladder to tap it from the top.

According to the title menu, the tracks are: “Intro”, “Setting”, “Gate of Hyper Dimension”, “Fantasy”, “Call of time”, “Ride to microwave”, “Fall of fame”, “Finish of the end”. You’d never know that there are distinct songs, though, as there are no breaks in the show.

Ultra Fuckers March 20th 2005 Scum Nite live

Ultra Fuckers March 20th 2005 Scum Nite live

Frog Console – March 20th, 2005 DVD, 2005, SCUM NITE live – Being a DVD of live recordings of Ultra Fuckers, Suspiria, Surfers of Romantica (yay) and Atsushi Tsuyama. Wicked! Wish I had been there, but in 2005 I was already living in Singapore, where the Ultra Fuckers would not have been very welcome.

The Ultra Fuckers set starts off with Kawai picking up a real guitar (not a toy guitar), then fiddling with some electronics and a goofy keyboard. The drummer is drumming lightly. There’s the stepladder. Some crazy buzzsaw sounds kick in, furry bristling keyboard, then the usual blathering and yelling starts up, Kawai wails on the bluesy guitar (and this is something new for me to behold!). Electronics fade out, the guitar kicks in, the noise burbles back and forth, echo-y vocal, then more howling, wailing guitar on and on. Robot vocal, big drums, gnashing of teeth, Kawai loses the head bag. The music fades away, Kawai yells his head off, the music picks up, all echoes, Izumi Headache comes out wearing a backpack (or is it just some random audience member?) and grinds away at the guitar from the top of the stepladder, stumbles around the stage, screams into the mic, but nothing is amplified, Kawai is still yelling and screaming away. The freaky electronic programmed echo noise continues on and on, it sounds great. Izumi eventually finds a microphone that works and screams away, although the guitar never kicks in again… until later when Kawai picks it up and gets it going with the flick of a switch (so what was all that air guitar about then?). the guitar noise fades out and that’s it – show over. Some mellow tunes come over the PA and we get… crowd conversation. The whole thing was 38 fucking minutes long, man!!!

Suspiria is nearly 29 minutes of musical experimentation, with a cello providing the drone, ambient noise covers it, drumming, and piercing echoed and distorted screams full of feedback coming from a dancing dude in a Stone Roses-style floppy hat. The drummer is really going crazy, so are the electronics, so is the singer, so is the cellist. It forms a bizarre super slam bit of nuttiness. At some point it begins to sound like fluid Krautrock nuttiness. After ten minutes, the band launches into a series of shorter songs. The second song, which sounds bass-led (there seems to be a bass player in the wings somewhere, out of camera view), and the singer raps and screams on as the band pulses on in a heavy beat. The third tune is cello and voice cacophony, which becomes spanking prog rock. The fourth tune is cello-led and spooky with big doomy bass lines and screaming. “Thank you very ma-cho.” Spastic electronic noise, quickly becomes driving hardcore noise, which eventually drones out, then picks up as more Kraut-rock coloured nuttiness. By the end, it’s very Apocalyptica, as the cello, vocalist and drummer stomp in a glorious “For Whom The Bell Tolls”-style beat-driven grindout.

The Surfers of Romantica also have a very long jam set, with a bunch of hippies in hats onstage, and one lady in a long hippy dress there. The uptake is slow, building up a long, slinky, groovy keyboard and percussion-driven buildup with a bit of trumpet and bass thrown in, grooving and zooming for fun. The drone drones on and on and on and then… 18 minutes in… with 20 minutes left in the set… everything moves up a notch with frantic and furious noise slam, stopping and starting… on and on… after 26 minutes the noise peels away, revealing a funky guitar riff that has the crowd bopping, then the electronics pick up and there’s jumping onstage to the loud beats. Lots of dancing onstage and in the audience, good fun all around.

Finally, Atsushi Tsuyama, who’s played in such legenary bands as Omoide Hatoba and Acid Mothers Temple Paradiso UFO, comes on with his electric-acoustic guitar to play 17 minutes of virtuosic fretboard magic. It has a bit of noise and feedback at the beginning, but otherwise it’s a glistening semi-acoustic and psychedelic jam-out version of what you’d normally hear distorted beyond utter belief (and totally unlistenable except as a wave of raw noise) at an Omoide Hatoba show. The music is spooky, Middle Eastern-sounding, and very beautiful. At one point he pulls out a glass slide and wails away with that fore a while too. Great close-up footage of him playing away, we can clearly see the full guitar and both hands. At a certain point, he just stops playing, turns off the amp, says “arigatou”, and leaves the stage.

Video from the shows, with the exception of Atsushi Tsuyama’s, was taken from mid-club, and is basically blocked by the heads of the people in the crowd, we can mostly see the stage action through their heads (Tsuyama’s set was probably the first one, when the crowd was thinner). Don’t know why the cameraman settled for a bad angle – when I was shooting video at Namba Bears, I usually made sure I was right up in front with my camera, selfishly recording the events for posterity. Too bad.

Ultra Fuckers Psychedelic Warrior

Ultra Fuckers Psychedelic Warrior

Psychedelic Warrior, New Legend from Ultra Fuckers CD, 2004, Lost Frog Productions – This is sort of like the Ultra Fuckers greatest hits CD, if such a thing can ever be imagined. It’s also an odd creature, being mostly songs that sound fairly nice and clean and all recorded in the studio, a world away from the rough and tumble low-tech Ultra Fuckers live experience. The collection was released in 2004, shortly after one-time member Mob Norio won the prestigious Akutagawa literary prize, probably to capitalise on his new-found recognition, and he’s listed as a full member (this is the only Ultra Fuckers release he’s listed on; he’s otherwise been listed on the Petit U-fu CD that was released in 2000).

“Yakamarahine” is a bit of vocal theatre from Kawai, augmented here by a fair amount of electronics. “D.A.F.” starts off with electronics and drums, then guitar, it turns into a solid rock driver. “Bandee Jump” is a regular rocker, while “Mescaline Drive” kicks out the jams as a nut-busting punk track that growls and groans, and punky “Oooh oh-oh-oh”. “Ahhha Uwwww” starts off with weird electronic noises, then jumps into sharp spastic scum noise, with toy guitar samples galore. The main lyrics are simple “Ahhha Uwwww”. “Hanson” is a weird little cover of Hanson’s “MMMbop”, which starts off with some weird singing by Kawai before becoming, undeniably, a cover of the teeny one hit wonder band’s squeaky hit, except the Ultra Fuckers rip it apart with hellacious aplomb and shards of spiky guitar splatter (and a bit of scratching too, of course…). “Scene Death” is hard and fast hardcore with weird background vocals. “(Seena) Ringo” starts off with weird vocal beats, electronics and ultimately big guitar and screaming noise, big riffs and beats. Oof! “Opopo” is the same repetitive riff, beat and verse over and over again, until brainless barking takes over, then it goes back to riff-beat-verse mode, ha ha ha. “Prince of the Land of the Rising Sun” starts off with vocal sounds, then beat and light guitar with vocal growls, singing, and then bigger and bigger guitar, and ultimately to that huge rousing chorus and more smashout. “King of Heart” has squeaky guitar and sax and driving vocal scum, then a Suicidal Tendencies moment, as the song moves its game up a notch. Great drum break as it builds up to a “Human Cannonball” outro that just gets bigger and bigger. Kawai’s shredded voice cracks and cracks until he sounds ready to pass out. And with good reason – at over four minutes long, this is the longest on the album. “B.B.Gun” is full of gunshots and great loud scuzzy scummy guitar riffs and drums. Kawai screams “I want a B.B. gun” over and over again, it’s pure scum madness. “Progressive” is mixed-together noise and samples, with big Nine Inch Nails nastiness and the rest of the kitchen sink also thrown in for good measure. This is a “Party mix by ENE”. Very good wacky fun.

Izumi Headache’s guitar sound on this album is particularly repulsive and abrasive. In other words, it sounds fantastic!

Ultra Fuckers Hyper Dimension Demo

Ultra Fuckers Hyper Dimension Demo

Hyper Dimension: Demo CD, 2004, Central Scum – A great little bit of demented electronica from the Ultra Fuckers. All songs are structured similarly, with some sort of driving electro dreamed up by Mr Kawai Kazuki Langley himself, with some additional guitar sound effects thrown in and some funky old drumming. Second song “Hyper Dimension pt.1(short)” is the longest track on the album, and it contains some insane groaning from Kawai as well. Tracks 1, 3 and 5 were recorded live on my birthday in 2004, while the remaining two tracks were done in the studio the same month. Final track “Solar Expert” is only about two minutes long, it slows down and winds things down to a near stop.

Ultra Fuckers King of Scum KB*CC 2003

Ultra Fuckers King of Scum KB*CC 2003

King of Scum Ultra Fuckers at KB*CC 2003 live CD, 2003, Central Scum – This is the ultra Ultra Fuckers experience: the concert was recorded and released as part of the Bone Crush Memory DVD, the concert is reviewed below, and the full KB*CC 2003 concert, including 13 tracks by Ultra Fuckers, is available on YouTube. The concert is probably one of the band’s most energetic (other bands playing on the bill were Go Kitty, Love Beach, Love or Die, Ossan Alpha, Saboten Kyodai, Tripod Jimmy and Dave Wesson).

I love this concert, maybe because I was one of about 30 people there and my voice can be heard prominently whooping on the band, yelling out things like “BB Gun,” “Psychedelic Warrior”, etc. Kawai gives each song an intro, so there are really only six songs and six intro-bits. The opening track, like so many Ultra Fuckers shows, is Kawai talking to the audience, but he keeps it short and launches into “Take On Maria”, which is driving hardcore that becomes a scream-a-thon with weird guitar riffs and plenty of splashy drumming. “We want to FUCK” is introduces the band, stuff like “We are Ultra Fuckers, we want to fuck. This day is a good, fine days.” Kawai asks for more delay. “B.B.Gun” is weird rock-out. “Prince of the Rising Sun” is a prog-rock song that has vocal stuff, then weird gurgles and guitar and drum stuff to build up the intro, then the song goes into quasi-rap, some crowd interaction before ending up on thrash-of-sorts. The crowd sings “Ringo Ringo” to the tune of “Linda Linda”, Kawai shouts “I love Shiina Ringo”, but doesn’t play the “Shiina Ringo Song”. He ask the crowd “are you punk?”, then launches into “PUNK SONG”, a groovy punker with weirdly distorted vocals that make his voice sound like a robot. The song is happy and oi oi singalong. “Takara Deta” starts off with wicked hellstorm noise, then gurgles with rising vocals into a pumeling grunged-out buzzer wrought with danger. The song begins to soar, and it’s a beautiful thing that is also noisy and chaotic. “Thank you.” “Talk about love” is all like “I hate love, I hate love, you might be lonely, always lonely. I like the traveller of the desert. We hate love, we hate marriage,” to which I shouted out “we love money.” The band plays “Bandee Jump” (i.e. bungee jump), a fast rocker that drives and drives and drives.

This recording is the extracted audio of a concert video that I took of the band that I sent to Kawai in 2005 that contains footage from three concerts, including this one. On the CD inlay, Kawai writes “Dedicated to Peter Holfich, Thanx to Matt EXILE and KTO”. He spelled my name wrong, but this is scum – things are supposed to be spelled wrong.

Escape From Home Recording

Escape From Home Recording

Escape From Home Recording, CD EP, August 14th 2003 – Opening track “You Fuck!” has everything you’ve ever heard before in an Ultrafuckers song: froggy groaning, speedy arpeggios, grimy guitar, weird high BPM electronic beats, and general spasticness. “G.W.A.R.” starts of like a mid-speed standard rock tune with a bit of cracked dissonance (the guitars aren’t quite tuned), but Kawai brings it back to weirdness with his rough voice; still, the tune is oddly conventional. It almost sounds like a Killdozer song. “Mummy Tribe” is horrible Killdozer-like growling with weird electronics and someone screeching “Mummy!”

Download the album and its artwork here, or listen to it in the embedded player here:

Ultra Fuckers 2002.07.21. Live at Bears

Ultra Fuckers 2002.07.21. Live at Bears

2002.08.21 Live at Bears CD, 2002, Public Eyesore – The band comes out yelling like the German nihilists in the Big Lebowski, but also saying “nice to meet you… nice to meet you… and nice to meet you… welcome.” Craziness is “We’re ultra Fuckers, we need to fuck, we only think about fuck, we need only fuck. You want fuck? Chose one fuckless life, fuck for life, fuck all life, fuck bride. The world contains all fuck.” The “song” is called “Talk about fucking.” “I have a mouth… and I like mouth. And about to my mouth songs. My mouth, my mouth, my mouth is molasses. My mouth is my acid, my mouth is my acid.” The first song, “My Mouth Eat My Acid” is guitar, drum, and Kawai’s screaming the title over and over. The song eventually gets a good head on as the guitar solo picks up into great noise territory. “My Family Under The Wall” is a long, doomy grunge-out with some extra music – it sounds like the band is playing with a big, booming bass grooning out big glommy lines. “Living On The Edge” is more of the same, with big bass sounds and super drums, with plenty of screaming. The bass overpowers, you can hardly hear the guitar at all. “Yakamarahine” is mainly Kawai singing a nice little song, with a bit of accompanying noise, sort of like theatre performance art. “Fuck Soon” starts with low bass, goofy guitar, but builds up and up until Kawai is just screaming “I want to fuck!” The song repeats and drones on and on in this vein. At nearly seven minutes, it is their second-longest song after “Hyper Dimension Pt.1 (short)”, which is over 11 minutes of electronica. “Death Karaoke ’02″ sounds like Kawai singing along to canned music, some old Japanese pop song. The bass and the drum comes in near the end for big pummeling.

I wasn’t at this show. The CD comes with no arwork, but it has the flyer of the show, which had headline act Monoliner playing with Ono of Solmania (wow!), Ultra Fuckers, Aska Temple and Ydestroyde. I don’t know anything about Monoliner, but Aska Temple are great, and Ydestroyde even better! See my reviews of those bands here (where I mistakenly list Ydestroyde as “I Destroyed”.

Ultra Fuckers Box – Lost Frog Records. Limited Edition of 2, containing Humanity of UF, Ultra Fuckers/Prehensile Monkeytailed Skink “Bring My Eye”, Karaoke Bootleg 2, and A Tribute To Evangelion – Available at the Ultra Fuckers 10th anniversary/Scum Nite 10 at Bears February 11th , 2002. I bought one, Jeff Bell of Beauty Pear (see Exile Osaka 5) bought the other. His is splashed with sochu that I drunkenly spilled on it (sorry, Jeff), but mine still looks nice. The four tape releases in it are available outside of the box, though, so I don’t know if it was such a good deal. After I bought it the three members of the band came over to me and thanked me personally for buying it. I got them to sign it – Kawai drew a stick guy with a gun and wrote “BxBx Gun.” This is a sassy personal remark, since every time I see them I heckle them to play “B.B. Gun Song” until they finally do. I’m glad he remembered. Actually, the owner of Lost Frog Records, who was there playing with the Surfers of Romantica that night, came over to me and thanked me personally as well, I think he even gave me a deep bow!!

Humanity of UF is a lo-fi 20-minute tape that comes in a zip-lock bag with a color-photocopied insert. Very crappy, of course, but also very un-pretentious. Lo-fi sounds, radio samples, Kawai talking into a mic about nothing, bizarre fuzzy hardcore, distorted voice experiments, some crap ’80s pop that is clearly not UxFx, and that’s all she wrote. Bring My Eye is good fuzzy strange noisy UxFx, perhaps their best stuff. Prehensile Monkeytailed Skink is good too, especially the “Richard Nixon is innocent” stuff and “we’d like to thank the other bands for sucking so much.” (longer review below) Tribute To Evangelion is very strange music. Two 60-minute lo-fi tapes with a color photocopy insert in a bag, it’s music from the influential anime series Evangelion – that I haven’t seen. A memorable theme, then with the Sinatra classic “Fly Me To The Moon” done over a dozen different ways. Only one track by Ultra Fuckers, other collaborators are Tabata’s Human Insect, Fossil Fuel, Osaka SS, Ono Yasuhiko of Solmania, and 25 others I don’t know much about. Very odd noise/groove/sample/pop/punk/funk/satire music going crazy, not to mention dialogue samples that might be from the series itself? But I wouldn’t know, would I? Punch Head sings a strange, lewd version of “Fly Me To The Moon” called “Punch Me To Your Head”. Ultra Fuckers song “Sync-La” is a short muttered thing, hard to notice. Of the many versions of “Fly Me To The Moon”, AxTxFx/Z.T.T.’s torture speed version of the song is probably the best, although other odd versions are good too. Karaoke Bootleg 2 is a 1995 recording on a 90 minute tape, comes with a photocopied song list and a color-photocopied art insert in a zip-loc bag, and is basically 41 strange songs by 26 bands. Most bands only offer one song, but the Ultra Fuckers offer four! (Surfers of Romantica one, Mania Organ two, Coa also two). All songs great fuzzy lo-fi scum and odd sounds that may or may not be Hawkwind derived – mellow guitar, insane guitar, wild bass, shrieking, etc. Things like Bitch Bootleg are very strange and talky. The Coa tracks sound like an attack of horny dragons thowing huge boulders and toppling buildings – sheer terror. Zip Code Review sounds like Sonic Youth. O.A.C.’s “H.M.DNA (nature mix)” is probably the strangest/coolest thing I’ve ever heard – blistering hardcore with the sounds of birds twitting in nature, jets flying overhead. What is the message here? Cool surf rock from the Won Wons. Utopia’s songs are mainly drumsticks hitting together as to call out a song (but with no song), then strange burbling keyboards and riffs. Silly little numbers. The Ultra Fuckers songs are the same as are on the Retail Karaokei EP. Man, I didn’t need to buy that one then (I guess this means that they’ve recycled these songs at least three times, as they also appear on Old Warrior Worship)!! A funny hardcore song by the Surfers of Romantica, then bizarre novelty songs in English by the Rudy Schwartz Project like “Creation Science Polka” and “An Orange Is Nothing But A Juicy Pumpkin”. Sample lyric from the former: “Carbon dating makes us cringe, we’re the right wing lunatic fringe, Jesus died for our sins, creation science polka”. Silly and annoying.

Ultra Fuckers Beyond the Fuckless

Ultra Fuckers Beyond the Fuckless

Beyond the Fuckless CD, 2001, Central Scum – This must be a joke or something: despite having a listing of 13 tracks with typical Ultra Fucker names like “Bongo Roll”, “Holly Bible” and “Bandee Jump” (bungee jump), all that I can hear on this is Cambodian pop. Is this Dengue Fever?

This is what I wrote about it in 2002: “I got this at an Ultra Fuckers 10th Anniversary show by trading a Nina Hagen CD (Freud Euch, the German version of her 1995 release with Marky Ramone collaborating, a good one). ‘Beyond the Fuckless’ is a CD-R in a slipcase that comes with a cool little sticker. Wild band music, it almost sounds like 70s music or early Stooges. Lots of drums and grunting and lurid guitar. Some songs end abruptly. Nice guitar work here. Better than listening to Deep Purple!”

プッチウフ P'tit U-fu, Dance with me, Rock with you: EP CD

プッチウフ P’tit U-fu, Dance with me, Rock with you: EP CD

Petit U-fu, Dance with me, Rock with you: EP CD, 2000, Central Scum – This is an Ultra Fuckers spinoff called Petit U-fu (petit Ultra Fuckers) that consists of Kawai Kazuki Langley on “Vocal and Vox + Muff) and a blond-headed goofy-looking Mob Norio on ASR-X Pro and Vocal. Mob Norio is now well-known for having won the famous Akutagawa literary prize in 2004 for the book Introduction to Nursing Care (介護入門 Kaigo nyu-mon). While the CD has nine tracks, only the even-numbered tracks (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9) are real songs, tracks 2, 4, 6 and 8 are all only a few seconds long. Opening track “Dance With Me, Rock With you” is primitive guitar, fast beats, a bit of singing, and plenty of laughing, babbling and goofing around. “約束/(Can’t Finish your) Promise” is almost a normal rock song with real guitar chords, babbling “singing”, and idiotic drumming. “うそ/Don’t Tell A Lie” is even more of a real song, with someone (maybe Mob Norio) singing “うそ” as if this were a regular song. Nice. “点と線/Ambitious Bride” is keyboard and noise plinkings and plonkings with long periods of Merzbow-like noise and some quasi-singing (by the way, 点と線 does not mean “Ambitious Bride”, but “dots and lines”; it is also the name of a famous train mystery Points and Lines by Matsumoto Seicho). “Dance with me, Rock with you (karaoke)” is very similar to the opening track, but actually there’s nothing Karaoke about it.

Of the mini-tracks, track two, “Yo! Petti!”, is four seconds of squeaky guitar chords; track four, “& Boys pt. 1″ is four seconds of beep-beep-beep-beeeeeep” of keyboard; track six, “& Boys pt.2″, is nearly the same as track four and also runs for four seconds; track 8, “& Boys pt.3″ sort of combines all of the elements of the previous four-second songs into a six-second song of its own.

Ultra Fuckers Retail Karaokei EP

Ultra Fuckers Retail Karaokei EP

Retail Karaokei EP, 1994-97 Compilation Tracks Colletions CD, 2000, Lost Frog Productions – Track 1 starts off with some old Japanese movie soundtrack music, then goes into strange death metal that doesn’t sound one bit like the Ultra Fuckers, until the last three seconds when you hear an e’chi Kawai voice come in. A remix? The second track is fake singing over weird guitar plucking. The third track is whistling, it sounds like the Pixies song “Silver”. The fourth track is one minute of monitor feedback. The last track is the band chatting, with part of the conversation looped and manipulated. Nice sound stuff.

This is what I wrote about it in 2002: “Strange produced noise and screwing around. A remix album? Moody music that they could never lay live with a guitarist and drummer and Kawai yelling his head off. Mixed and matched. Dislocated voices, buzzing, feedback, strangeness. Funny track seven with manipulated crowd sounds. Still the best (or most representative of their live show) Ultra Fuckers songs are on compliations like Land of the Rising Noise (Charnel) and Tribute To Nippon (UMMO).” I think there’s a mistake here – there are only five songs on this recording!

Bring My Eye, cassette tape, 1996, Central Scum – A split 20-minute tape the Ultra Fuckers did with an American band called Prehensile Monkey Tailed Skink (perhaps?) that I know nothing about. Ten minutes for each band. I bought this one from Kawai on the stairway to Bears after they played a show there. It is funny and interesting, flattened-out lo-fi noise and sound and distorted ET vocals. The classic-riff-that-a-two-year-old-could-have-come-up-with from the Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is stolen, not for the first time I bet. Funny, wacky, strange, unnatural sounds, not quite like their live performances. PMTS are not too bad either. They have funny “lyrics”, like a news announcer saying “ladies and gentlemen, this just in – Richard Nixon is apparently innocent! ” Are they a ’90s scum version of the Monks? Or are they King Missile? At the end of the song they get snooty and give out their thanks (sounding more like “fuck you very much” than “thank you very much”) to the tune of music. Maybe this is old, but I haven’t heard it before so I will consider it original just this one time.

Photos!

Take on Maria

Take on Maria

My mouse ate my acid

My mouse ate my acid

The prince of the land of the rising sun

The prince of the land of the rising sun

I want my bb gun

I want my bb gun

Bandee Jump

Bandee Jump

Hyper Dimension

Hyper Dimension

Ultra Fuckers Live!

Here are my reviews of the concerts I saw in Japan with Ultra Fuckers on the bill:

April 18th , 2003 – Namba Bears: Half Japanese, Ultra Fuckers, and TEEM. My last night at Bears before the imminent move to Singapore in May. Went downtown early and bought 4 CDs at Alchemy Records: the new Masonna, Space Machine, and Acid Mothers Temple and Sekiri CDs. Talked to Masonna a bit, seems like he only sold one of my zines to Philhomena, whom I had told by email that they were available there. They aren’t displayed, I don’t see how he will ever sell any more. Got to Bears early so I could interview Jeff Bell and Nana like we’d been talking about for ages, but the interview didn’t happen because sound checks were taking place. Watched Half Japanese sound check, talked a bit to some of the guys. Later gave Jad Fair directions how to get to Den Den Town. Went for beers, and then Jeff and Nana and I finally did the interview backstage at Bears, Kawai from Ultra Fuckers sat in on it too. Got my seat near the front so I could do some filming – good thing too, it was warming up to be a full crowd. Ultra Fuckers were up first. Kawai came out and asked everybody to stand up, because although having people sitting on the floor for a punk show is lame it is what people at Bears always do anywya. The band blasted away at a few funky numbers, some new things that were silly and spare. Kawai apologized for sounding so bad, that they didn’t know their new songs so well. He spoke in English mostly through the set, but broke into Japanese when he wanted to make a point. Many foreigners in the crowd heckling him back in English, so the usual effect he has of babbling in English to a Japanese audience that doesn’t understand him was lost somewhat. “Do you like Shiina Ringo?” Cool toy guitar noise, funny air thump thump thump. Toward the end of the show he asked “Do you know the King of Hearts?” We said “no, we don’t know the king of hearts,” and he explained something about Gundam and anime, or something. Very funny. Rousing final number with the Butthole Surfers reprise, then he jumps from the stepladder and rolls through the air, landing on his shoulder. He takes a long time to get up, and looks like he’s in terrible pain. The band picks up and walks offstage. TEEM are up next. Nana starts it off with his bass blompings, Yamamoto taking it easy with some simple guitar themes, China keeping it going on drums, and Jeff Bell standing around wondering what to do – turn on his pocket radio, manipulate it with an old electric toothbrush, or twang away on his Vietnamese Jews harp. Nana’s bass is the most fluid element to it all, it is burbling like a mountain stream, and China’s slick drums keep it all together. Yamamoto is having a hard time picking up on a theme, and Jeff doesn’t have much to say. Actually, his mic doesn’t seem to be working very well either and we can’t quite make out what he’s saying. Maybe he meant it to be that way! Jeff is a pretty mellow guy. On the other hand, Yamamoto’s mic works and has a ferocious echo, but he doesn’t barely use it. This band is definitely not as fierce as they were the last time I saw them when they snarled “we are TEEM!” and “eat my pussies.” After a while Yamamoto walked offstage toward the sound deck, came back and stopped the jazz fusion experiment, then picked up with some funky numbers that had some steam to them, fierce punching and nutty energy. This was the band we had come to see!! From the backstage door I could see the happy faces of the Half Japanese guitarist poking his head in to see what was going on. After a few more minutes of loud, aggressive sounds, the band finished up and walked offstage. After some time to mellow out and get ready for the headliners, it was time for Half Japanese. The band came onstage, set up the equipment a bit, and launched into the first song – the guitarist pounding away on a mini-drumkit, the drummer banging away, and Jason Willett looking really cool puffing away at slim hand-rolled cigarettes and working strange electronic pads (he looks kind of like Gary Sinise, doesn’t he?). Jad went nuts singing strange ditties. They played three numbers, experimenting with the equipment, before they stopped it all and said they’d take a break to solve a few equipment problems. Okay. We sat back and waited, then promptly it picked up again. Lots of cool funky sounds and a great pulse, the song that stuck out the most for me was the Monster Island song and all the different monster roars – King Kong, Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera – R-RRROOOAHRRRR!!!!! Another song about Frankenstein, another song about this and that and, well I should really watch the video to refresh my memory. The band looked like it was having a lot of fun and there was lots of goofy grins back and forth between Jason and the drummer. Jad worked with a little microphone he held in his fist that made his voice sound extra sharp and freaky. After a while the guitarist walked off and we didn’t see him for a while. Later on the band took a short break, then came back in full rock and roll gear – the guitarist banging away at the sweet beautiful guitar sounds, Jason on a slinky bass, and the drummer still working away. Some songs were just Jad and the drummer, Jad sang two Calvin Johnston songs including “Caspar”, and then he did a babble-solo on the city of Chicago. Chris from Chicago was standing next to me. I don’t know how he felt about it, but Bob from Minnesota behind me got brave enough to heckle at that point. Don back in the middle of the room began to mosh around and went a little crazy – I worried a bit for the petite damsels crowding the front because, well, Don is a big, sweaty guy! The tape ran out in my camera, which meant that the band had been playing for over an hour, and I could just enjoy the show without bothering to film it. Jad did great versions of “Red Dress,” proving he wasn’t bothered by Bob’s heckling, and lots of great, tight, fast, loud, guitar rock numbers that were really solid. Everyone in the audience loved every song the band played and played and played. I can’t believe I have seen a band play a ninety minute set at Bears, where twenty minute sets are the norm (on a five band night anyway). The three bands tonight gave us one hell of a ride. Half Japanese finished up, went off, the lights came up and the recorded music came up, but they were back immediately for an encore with an incredible version of “Angel.” Amazing stuff!! I wish I had gotten that on video! After the show we hung around and Jad came out and talked to everybody. I gave him copies of my zine, took a pic with him, chatted about this and that. Jad signed books, CDs, and a copy of “The Band That Would Be King.” The guitarist and drummer came out too and talked to Don and Susan about Texas. We had a hard time saying goodbye and getting out the door to catch our last trains, I wish I could have stayed out late and partied with the bands afterwards, but it was not to be. I talked to Jeff Bell and found out that Kawai had actually broken his collar bone in that jump at the end of the Ultra Fuckers and was taken away to hospital. In an ambulance? Not sure. Thanks to Don and Susan and Bob and Chris and Philhomena and everyone else for coming out!

February 15th , 2003 – Tocca a Te: KTO’s Kansai Bangladesh Charity Concert 6 (KB*CC 6), featuring Dave Wesson, Ossan Alpha, Love Or Die, Ultra Fuckers, Saboten Kyodai, Go Kitty, Tripod Jimmy, and Love Beach. Got to Tocca a Te early and watched sound checks, ate, drank, hung out. I brought 20 kilos of books and magazines and tapes for people to take home free and was glad to dump it on a table under a “TAKE FREE” sign. Lots of little kids milling about and playing, including a chubby little one-year-old with a mohican! After some schedule and sound check confusion, Jeff Lee (formerly of Roy Tan) and his new outfit Ossan Alpha were ready to go on. At the last minute Dave Wesson walked in the door, he went on first instead. Can’t blame a guy for arriving late – his wife had just had a baby boy on Monday! Great acoustic finger picking with harmonica and vocals, his covers of Grateful Dead and Dylan songs were great and set the right tone to start the evening. After him were Ossan Alpha, a great stomping shredding dirty guitar and drum band. Fun howling tunes from a dynamo of energy, the strings on Jeff’s guitar were shredded after. Funny trio cover “Ja Ja Ja,” righteous original songs like “Snake Farm” were great too (it reminded me of “Whole Lotta Rosie” somehow), and a little bit of “Let There Be Rock”. Much better than the Doors with Ian Astbury singing any day! Jeff’s sweet 18 month old daughter Eliza was watching with her mom and seemed enthralled, so were the other kids who had come with their mommies and daddies. Priceless. Between sets, DJs like KTO’s Dominic and Aidan played album tracks, among them the peerless Gil Scot Heron classic “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” Saboten Kyodai were next playing furious rock covers. A tight band with lots of onstage energy, the tall lead singer also wore a cowboy hat. Stylish!! I danced my ass off to their set and I think the band was amused. I yelled out “aniki” to them. When I met them after the set they were extra friendly to me as we danced around to the bands. I love making friends that way at shows. Love Or Die followed with their dirty screaming short freakout songs. Love Or Die have been scheduled to play KBCC events before, but always had to cancel for one reason or other. Finally our chance to see the legends, playing again after being on hiatus for five years! Tight fasty nasty rock just the way we like it. The kids loved it too, and mohican-boy was almost constantly being filmed by the squad of Osaka underground documentarians and archivists (myself included). Ultra Fuckers followed with their trademarked scum noise crap. Kawai seems to have a new vocal effect box since he was making his vocals sound particularly gnarly. No toy guitar to play or ladder to jump off of, but the “BB Gun song,” “Prince of the Rising Sun,” and a “we hate love, we hate marriage, we love money” rap similar to the one from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie (?!). Plenty of English mumbling too! After Ultra Fuckers, Go Kitty launched into their set of short, fast, pop songs. Three very cute young girls playing the traditional instruments and singing sweet songs. They said a polite “thank you” after each song, we all said “you’re welcome.” Apparently they also did a Beach Boys cover. Next up were Tripod Jimmy trying out their new drummer for his first live shows. The guy lives in Shiga!! Came a long way to play without pay. Plenty of fast tight stompin’ songs from their new CD, plus a fun “Automated System.” What a great band. Last up was the wildly unpredictable Love Beach. They started their set near 1:00 (late!) by climbing onstage, casually, one by one, and tuned up. The lead singer leaned on the mic stand, lit up a cigarette, and babbled freeform garbage to the sounds of “the Song Remains The Same” and other songs coming from the DJs as the other guys sound checked and got ready. Finally they started up – wanky distorted guitar/solos over pulsing snakey bass and drum lines. The lead singer went into some kind of psychotic trance and glared at the audience, making eye contact and screaming. I got too close with a video camera and he made a grab for it. ET finger touches. Nutty. Beats thrown in too. Finished the set with a great cover of “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Seven bands, whew! Only complaint was that nobody tried a Black Sabbath cover, but I’m sure some day a KBCC band will do just that. After Love Beach finished, the DJs played a while, after which Dave Wesson came back to sing a few more Dylan songs. “(Take Me Home) Country Roads” failed to please the crowd, but a nice version of “Blackbird” was touching. Attempts to play “Desperado,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Out Of The Black, Into The Blue” failed, but “Lay Lady Lay” was fun, especially with guest vocalists like Shane and Don, who sang the Dylan classic the Ministry way. Things mellowed, the club shut down bit by bit, and we drank until 5 in the morning. Thanks to Torsten and Mami (congratulations on their engagement!), Don and Sue, Grant and friend, Steve, Philomena and Masayuki, Mitch, and all the others who showed up, not to mention the great bands that volunteered their time to the charity. Bravo.

June 16th, 2002 , Namba Bears: Ultra Fuckers , I Destroyed, Junk Headd, Doddodo and TEEM . Another perfect night at Bears. Ultra Fuckers play first this time, working through several songs, Kawai brings out the famous toy guitar out for two long-ish numbers, and they get off the stage. No jumping off the folding ladder, which is onstage but never used. Kawai asks the audience if they like “UFO or Die” and I yell out “NO!!” My request for the “BB Gun Song” is denied – rats! They get off and I Destroyed set up. While they are pulling out racks of keyboards and a huge Yamaha drum, some strange electro mix DJ weirdo music plays – twisted samples and bizarre sounds. I assume this is Junk Headd , although I have been taught never to assume. Oh, what the hell, just this once. Soon the electro dies down and a drone appears – this is I Destroyed. They come and space out, chanting like Buddhist monks, the dreadlocked-bearded lead singer/keyboardist comes out into the audience to groove, then the rest of the band explodes into noise. More drone, then the band explodes again, and a long jam starts. They work the bass, pound the drums, ring in digital beats, groove out with funky beats and yells, spacey effects, it was a mess. A drummer, a percussionist, drum, bass, keyboards, three of them doing vocals at various times, yeesh. They went on for over 50 minutes, which is pretty rare at Bears. A wild, fun, exciting band, that seems to incorporate moments from the entire Boredoms career, particularly Super Roots 5 and Vision Creation New Sun. Hey, if you can’t see the Boredoms play anymore, this and the Surfers of Romantica must be the next best thing. A surprise for most people in the audience too, who had never heard of them. Last up was fun monster TEEM , with their brash, loud orgy of huge supergroup sounds. Yamamoto Seiichi of the Boredoms (and about twenty other bands) on guitar; Nana of VooDooBrooYoo, Labcry, the Futures, Star Star and Star, and Grind Orchestra on bass; China of Music Start Against Young Assault, Jesus Fever, Rovo, Rashinban, and Shonen Knife on drums; and Canadian Jeff Bell of Empty Orchestra and Live Evil on vocals. Bombastic and near over-the top, the band assaulted the small room and the hundred people there with huge Fuji Rock Fest-level sounds and hyperkinetic energy as they tore through near-unrecognizable covers of songs by Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, White Zombie, and the Rollins Band as done by mid-career Butthole Surfers. At least that is what it sounded like to me. Live music and fun probably doesn’t get much better than this. Thanks to Chris and Thom and Anna and Philomena for coming out.

February 11th, 2002 at Namba Bears : Ultra Fuckers , the Surfers of Romantica , Vita Sexualis and Solmania. Scum Nite 10 and the Ultra Fuckers 10th anniversary (that’s what it says on the bill, but it also says that UxFx are from Texas on the bill). Ultra Fuckers were up first and sang their “I Hate Winter” and “Anti-Marriage Song,” both new apparently, and “Shiina Ringo Song” and “Silent Song.” Great stuff. No “Human Cannonball” or “Prince of the Land of the Rising Sun.” What a band. Kawaii kept his bag on his head for the whole show this time, playing shirtless and jumping around, drummer and guitarist filling in around the edges. I requested “B.B. Gun Song” and they played it!!! After the show I bought a few CDs and also got the limited editon (of two!!!) “Musical Mayhem” box set with 4 tapes, got it signed too. Glad to finally have a limited edition something of personal value to myself. Who cares about the limited edition Swatch anyway? Swapped a Nina Hagen CD (“Freud Euch”, with Dee Dee Ramone) with Kawaii for the “Beyond the Fuckless” CD so I saved 1000 yen there. That always feels pretty good. At this point we also discovered the free sochu that they had on the counter – yum. The Surfers of Romantica came out next – a drummer, guitarist, bass player, and vocalist. Guitarist wearing a black body suit like a Mexican wrestler, they jumped around and screamed. The guitarist had troubles with his pedals, he ripped off his mask and picked up a mic, and the band was a drummer and bass player making huge slabs of bad noise. The shirtless lead singer wearing the funny tights looks like he’s over fifty!! This is a completely different band than the one I saw last time . Next were Vita Sexualis, a goth rock band that owes a debt to the Velvet Underground. Playing pop songs for a while as the sunglass-wearing dandy lead singer dangled around the mic stand. Just okay, wonder if they’ll be better another time. Last up were Solmania . I’m glad I got a chance to see this group again from up close – one guy playing a Rickenbocker (?) and another guy playing a custom guitar with all sorts of strange things stuck to it. The floor was littered with pedals that they were always banging or bending down to adjust. Crazy noise. Turned out great on video too! Hung out with the musicians briefly afterwards and made some friends and finished off the sochu – feeling pretty good at this point. Roco from Helicoid 0222MB was there too, I joked with her that I liked her Gara Gara Hebi project much better than Helicoid 0222MB , I don’t think she was very happy I said that. Thanks to Matt and Thom and Jeff, Johnny and Amy (?) from Hamilton who I met there. No I just wonder who that angry-looking anti-social guy was.

July 29th, 2001 at Namba Bears : Ultra Fuckers , Bringer Of War, GaraGara Hebi , and Aska Temple. Scum Nite at Bears. The Ultra Fuckers were up first. Mellowing out a bit or what, with a kick-ass new drummer and bass/keyboardist, they were more of a blend of the Doors and a hardcore band than their weird usual selves. Even Kawai gave up the bag-over-the-head and kneepads thing. Everyone knows what he looks like now anyway. Kicking ass in more ways than one, their crunchy freaky numbers had real oomph to them. Starting off with their cool track from the UMMO Records Tribute To Japan compilation, they went into nuggets like “the Shiina Ringo Song,” and by special audience request also “B.B. Gun Song.” with Kawai diving out into the audience. I got it all on video too. Surprisingly, they now have a blues number in their set. Cool. Bringers of War followed with their Prong meets Deep Purple/E.L.P. insanity. A little heavy on the cheezy keyboards, their one long jam was still tight as hell in the rhythm section, particularly that incredible bass player! GaraGara Hebi were the surprise of the evening. Three women in wide skirts playing accordion, pianica (there’s that pianica again!), and guitar. Weird funky harmonics from a great sweet voice, singing funny nothing lyrics like “my favorite summer” over and over again. Switching instruments around, picking up the drums, a programmed disco beat, skull-shaped maracas, and who knows what else. Very sweet fun. The guitar player seems to be a member of Hellacoid 0.222 MB, I wonder how many groups she is in. Last up was the mind-blowing Aska Temple , playing with the lights off and the only light coming from the micro-biology film being shown against the strage. Their music can be best described as psychadelic feedback and was mind-poppingly unbelievable. I had a grin on my face from ear to ear for the whole set. Wonderful. Went out drinking with the musicians after the gig, always fun, but the boys and the girls sat divided at different tables and I was at the girls table for some reason! Hellacoid girl started talking about making a band with me as a vocalist! Possible name: the Emperors. I’m game. Sounds cool, but I wonder if anything will come of it…

July 7, 2000 at Club Water in Namba: Kansai Bangladesh Charity Concert 3 (KB*CC III) with Roi-Tan, C love R, Haco, UltraFuckers , Daimyo Gyoretsu – The third Kansai Bangladesh Charity Concert (KB*CC III) and perhaps the least attended gig… also the most radical and experimental, exciting nevertheless since it offered bands that had never played at the event before, as well as a rare appearance of the legendary Daimyo Groretsu. I got there after ROITAN ‘s set, but managed to catch all of C love R, a girl group that hit all of the marks of everyone’s image of what all Japanese girl bands must sound like. They were great, with lots of energy and likeable infectiousness and good stage presence, not to mention spunky songs. They had two tapes of their music for sale, 100 yen each (a steal), with two and four songs on them respectively. Haco was up next solo, playing her unique nutty operatic techno like a modern-day Yoko Ono. Unfortunately the crowd took a while to warm up to her act, with the people who talked through the set making more sound than she was at point; she rallied forth near the end with one of her strong songs, and then a lot of loud strumming on her electric mandolin (?), so that people were feeling good enough at the end of her set that they called for an encore which she graciously gave us. Permanent Voltage were on the bill, but couldn’t make it, so following Haco were the Ultra Fuckers , another Bears band just like Haco: they jumped into a set that sounded more hardcore than they ever had before. No unusual stage antics except for the obligatory muttering in English (“do you like Shiina Ringo?”), the foreign language irony/intimidation effect that works on Japanese audiences but was lost on the gaijin crowd due to the fact that many people were English-speaking anyway. They played the “BB Gun Song” and Kawai pulled out his trademark toy guitar, but didn’t show it off for more than a minute or two. Final song was an adapted cover of the Butthole Surfers’ “Human Cannonball”, and one encore was granted us after all. A further “AC/DC encore” was refused, though, unfortunately. Last up were Daimyo Gyoretsu , the Bar Noise band and motley crew of strangers who grunt and groan, masked and costumed. Full throat, guitar and drum madness going on and on as people cavorted on the stage colliding with each other, tripping over the guitar pedals, smog machine, wacky percussion and gongs, a skateboard with sharp deer horns on it, and who knows what else. A chainsaw trick didn’t work, but it didn’t matter because the insane sound that was going on was more than enough to make anyone go utterly loopy. Is this what Mr. Bungle and Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse are all about? Happily, I had the honor of being able to take part in this momentous occasion: I wrapped myself up in a sumo mawashi loincloth, put a pair of my wife’s panty-hose (with my socks stuffed into the toes) on my head, they bounced around as I did and the three of us had a lot of fun. I don’t know how it looked, and I am unsure of my actual musical contribution. I guess I’ll have to check out the video of the nite…

April 22, 2000 at Namba Bears: the Ultra Fuckers,NASCA Car, the Surfers of Romantica – My third time seeing the Ultra Fuckers was probably the best (last gig their set was plagued with technical problems), with bagged head, knee-pad wearing toy-sword slinging frontman Kawai Kazui wandering into the audience and yelling at them in English, handing out a b.b. gun and begging an audience member to shoot him. “This is a song about a b.b. gun. It is called b.b. gun song.” He also said “this is a silent song” to introduce a solo number. The “highlight” of an Ultra Fuckers show is always when Kawai pulls out the toy guitar with the programmed beats and jams along. Musically, these guys are probably the worst band in Japan, but the falling-apart feeling of their music is probably what they want and what makes them different. Self-conscious hardcore scum deconstruction. NASCA Car were up next, starting off slowly with distorted noise before picking up some drums, then programmed insanity and tight rapping. A theremin was also present, although it was quite low in the mix and konked out a few times. One good thing the NASCA Cars did was ask the audience to stand up – the problem with shows at bears Bears is that the audience seat themselves on the floor, forcing the late arrivals standing in the back to crowd together or stand on tip-toes. The Surfers of Romantica were up last and blew the place apart with their long loud long jam. Starting off with a DJ and a bongo drummer, the other members slowly drifted in and began piling on the instruments and the noise on top of each other taking the jam higher and higher until the song had to change – it changed once, and changed again, and again, all of the members in glorious sync with each other. Just after the first climax, the crowd surged and for a short while there was a small mosh pit happening in Bears, a club no bigger than a 3-car garage. Somehow it all reminded me of the Boredoms and what they were doing on Super Roots 5, great to see it live! After the show the NASCA Cars and Kawai were selling t-shirts – the Ultra Fuckers tee was an obnoxious small-sized thing with “Ultra Fuckers” on it and a butt-shot of a horny naked anime teen. I thought about buying one, but unfortunately I don’t know anyone brave enough to actually wear it in public.

February 24, 2000 at Fandango in Juso: Star Star Star, Helicoid 0222MB, Communication Brain Buster , Ultra Fuckers – Star Star Star have local superstar Nana on vocals with a guitarist and a drummer. Long, trippy songs that boom and yell, the jam twists and turns and defies description. Wow! That crazy guitarist, how did he produce so much noise with his guitar as he flailed around on his back? Helicoid have street cred, but they aren’t very interesting to listen to. They produce rock and psychadelia that is good enough, just not too adventurous or even very adept. Nice stage outfits, though. Communication Brain Buster remind me of a bunch of serious music school students – they rip away at their instruments with technical perfection that is exciting and frantic, but somehow soulless. Still get wow points. Ultra Fuckers’ set was marred with technical difficulties, to the point where even these famous deconstructionists appeared uncomfortable with the way that things were turning out. Considered by some a Bears band, Fandango may have been too big for them. I wonder if they will ever play there again.

August 20th, 1999 at Namba Bears: Ultra Fuckers, Jahangir, Jet Liners, We Are The World – We are the World did cool pop, Jet Liners did corny hardcore, and Ultra Fuckers did zombie spazz – it is their calculated ambition to be known as the worst band in Japan, but in fact they are one of the best… and one of the strangest. Confrontational lead singer Kawaii came out in knee-pads and with a bag over his head, talked English to the audience, and was generally incomprehensible in his language and his antics. Biggest surprise of the evening came from Jahangir , two guys playing ancient electronic equipment and singing nasty, edgy lyrics. They were as fun to watch as they were to listen to. Namba Bears rules.

About My big bad Ultra Fuckers page

I made this page as a tribute to Ultra Fuckers after I realised that there is a dearth of information about the band out there and that, since I own probably all of their recorded material, I should do something about sharing this information.

If you wish to write to me with your comments and questions, please drop me a line at peter at hoflich dot com.

You may also wish to check out:

My big bad Boris page
My big bad Spitz page

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