I cannot deny my love of the DC hardcore sound.
One of my friends moved to Washington, D.C. a few years back. He still comes back to visit when time permits, but most of our communication is through texting and social media.
Sometimes, I’ll have to fire off a photoshop of 50 Alex Jones’. He’ll send pictures of malamutes. The world goes on and we remain entertained and in steady communication.
Most recently, he sent me the Bandcamp link for a band called Rashomon. I see that the vocalist is named Kohei and make the assumption that it is the same individual, Kohei Urakami, who is/was with the band Zipper. Kohei creates some excellent vocals, sounding somewhere between pissed and deranged right off the bat in the intro jam, all in Japanese – a fresh twist employed by very few hardcore bands that I can think of.
When I bothered to Google the name Rashomon, it brought up a movie that I’d never heard of before. The description that pops up sounded pretty gnarly to me:
“Set in feudal Japan, this film presents an intriguing tale of violent crime in the woods…”
I figure that must be the connection between the movie and the band of the same name. The movie depicts a tale of violent crime and the band sounds like violent crime.
Alright, some I’m stretching it a little bit for the sake of my storyline. However, Rashomon is nothing short of a fantastic, fast, pissed sounding hardcore band. A lot of it has that gritty, pissed punk sound and production, but while the lines blur between hardcore and punk more and more, it’s the last track that gives the band away.
新しい地平線 (New Horizon) is my kind of jam. It reminds me of all my other favorites from over the years like Lion of Judah and other bands that came before Rashomon, the names of which escape me.
That’s probably what has drawn me to listen to these four tracks over and over. They remind me of a sound I’ve heard before, but time has caused me to lose the names and faces I've associated to those artists and sounds.
Drawing from influences like Bad Brains, the aforementioned Lion of Judah, and surely many punk bands that I don’t care about, Rashomon has captured a fast, furious and altogether excellent sound.
If you want to give the furious four-song demo a listen, head on over to their Bandcamp page. If you’re extra righteous, like me, throw them a dollar or two for their efforts and buy the four bangers.
by Daniel Coughlin