Artist: Skitklass / Artificial Joy
Title: Split EP
Release: 7″ EP / Digital
Label: Break The Records
Ever since crashing onto the scene a few years back, Tokyo band Skitklass have been wrapped up in an enigma.
Japanese band hiding their identities with bondage leather zipper masks while playing the Swedish-style käng punk in the best possible tradition of other local scandi-worshippers like Frigöra, Kriegshög, and Ferocious X… just think about it, all right?
There’s absolutely no mistake this band has gained a cult following even before they released anything, and eventually all their early tapes and EPs were auctioned at outrageous prices. Thanks to Break The Records, all these early works came out as a GREATEST sHITS collection in 2018. Well, the band could have just easily call it a day back then and become a short-lived sensation, but no, they continued cranking up new releases all the way through 2020. Their only LP to date Primitiv Känsla (2019) was a straight up råpunk ripper in the tradition of Anti-Cimex and Shitlickers. After which, they changed directions quite a bit and for good, I’d say.
With theirグチャグチャ(Gucha Gucha) flexi, Skitklass didn’t stop their electrifying råpunk assault but just spiced it up with even more blown-out noise and distortion to their music. They’ve also abandoned the Swedish song titles and lyrics in favor of their native Japanese, which I think was the best possible move to fully unleash their potential.
The split 7″ with Crimex and the newly released 世界の平等さようなら (Sekaino Byoudou Sayonara) EP are probably their best material to date but this year also brought us another amazing slab of wax. This time Skitklass are joining forces with LA’s punk sensation Artificial Joy and kid you not, here are some of the best raw punk bangers of the year!
The three Skitlass tracks on this seven inch are actually re-recordings of old songs with lyrics rewritten in Japanese to fit the new direction of the band. It’s full-throttle käng punk with raw guitars, walls of distortion and d-beat cracking at top speed. (Not) Very nice indeed.
But enough for Skitklass ‘cuz on the other side of the wax we have another great band called Artificial Joy.
I don’t have that much to say about them as I don’t have enough information about the band but they are just so good to be left out. Raw, mid-tempo to fast punk-rock that borrows a lot from the musical legacy of West Coast classics like The Bags, The Nuns, or The Brat, then twist and distorts it through the lens of unhinged, off-the-hook hardcore punk with a brutal vengeance.
These two songs have enough melodies to make you want to scream and shout all along, but also enough distortion to give you a headache. All in all, phenomenal split release for those seeking some new raw punk goodness.
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