Metalchicks concert review, part 1: nisen'nen mondai

by Curl on 2005年08月30日 03:58 PM

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Review of Metalchicks concert, first part in a series

8月18日 (水ー木) 1:18 am JST

The Metalchicks concert at Lush last month was almost a study in different theories of audience-artist interaction. The first group, nisen’nen mondai (meaning “Year 2000 Problem”) clearly hates audiences. The group consists of three young women in the usual rock’n’roll positions (bass, drums, guitar), but in opposition to the usual rock’n’roll attitude, they had desire not for the approval of their fans, but only for the satisfaction of their own Dionysian impulses. The three girls faced each other with the guitarist and bassist showing their backs to audience, no doubt out of disdain. Then, rather than combining notes into chords and chords into rhythmic melodies and harmonies in the usual way that appeases audiences, the girls chewed through arrhythmic noises in proportion to their own amusement.

The sounds came (this much is inline with rock tradition) in thunderous shocks. They jabbed out the lowest lows on their bass and the highest highs on their guitar as the drummer split the air unpredictably. Typically, the group would find a single note or two that amused them, then repeat that sound until the audience will melted, and the performers became bored with it and lost interest. Occasionally, they teased at playing progressive chords, just to taunt the audience. As quickly as they opened some pattern, they just as quickly broke it or stretched it out, doing anything to defeat audience expectations. Indeed, playing identifiable chords itself can only be seen as a way to lure the audience in, giving them the expectations that they are then to be stripped of. For a while, they did play a song almost reminiscent of Buffalo Daughter’s “Super Blooper,” but this only further clarified the contrast between their rejection of the audience and Buffalo Daughter’s acceptance of the audience. Buffalo Daughter tries to pull the listener in with a steady groove. Nisen’nen mondai tries to push the audience out by furious repetition.

Near the end of their set, the guitarist finally faced her enemy and turned to the mic. She opened her mouth, but not to sing, but to yop like a vicious dog. The Soft Boys once sang, “I wanna destroy you.” Nisen’nen mondai needs not even say so much, as their structure is their content: the destruction of the listener. They live killing, not softly, but with finger raw from strangling their guitars, palms splintered from pounding their drums. It was a sonic and psychological assault on the heart of Rock’n’Roll itself. Like all such assaults (and unlike cooperation with Rock), this only reaffirmed Rock itself as a celebration of the individual nature’s triumph over the wants of society.

It was a good set.