TETOLA 93: Self-titled: LP

There are a handful of invigorating moments on this album that sound like a Japanese monster movie: air-raid sirens, bullhorns, news reports, panicked crowds running scared like cattle. I must admit that I don’t listen to much of “this kind” of hardcore. I’m one of those “stuck in the mid-’80s” types when it comes to the genre. That being said, the story here, the one beyond the Japanese lyrics that I don’t understand, is really gripping. Tetola 93 describe their self-titled LP as “14 tracks of chaotic Japanese hardcore.” The opening track, “Nagasaki Nightmare,” begins with a scratchy hum, a panicked voice on a megaphone, and a stern report delivering a breaking story in Japanese, before a sad acoustic guitar melodrama leads into the aforementioned chaos. There are needle-melting guitar riffs, screaming, growling, gnashing of teeth, and a rhythm section that would do Slayer proud. On top of all this, the packaging is really fucking beautiful—from the cover design to the liner notes that come in a skull-and-crossbones marked envelope, and lyrics that look as beautiful as they read, side-by-side in Japanese and English. Like I said, I don’t often listen to this kind of hardcore, but I like what this band is presenting. 

 –John Mule (Meatcube / Zegema Beach)