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Making love to and with weapons indeed - 93%

kluseba, September 10th, 2012

Sex Machinegun are another crazy, open-minded and actually once again hard to describe metal band that hails from Nippon and releases its stunning debut record in a time when the metal scene was at a low. Musically, the band mixes hard thrash and speed metal parts reminding of bands such as Loudness, Megadeth or Slayer with more heavy metal orientated melodies influenced by icons such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Manowar but the whole thing is mixed with highly versatile Japanese vocals that vary from catchy melodies to over the hop hysteria.

The lyrics are also quite unusual and often have a humorous touch but not the way a Western band would try to do. In one song called "ファミレスボンバー", a guy has a date in a restaurant and gets angry at a silly waitress; in another track named "犬の生活", a guy falls in love with a woman he can't approach and imagines how it would be to be her dog just to get close to her. As you might understand, this band definitely has a lot of twisted ideas and that's what makes this release so intriguing but also somewhat controversial. While some people might find this kind of approach original and courageous, others may just find it silly and too hard to digest at some points, so you better check this band out closely to choose your camp before you purchase one of their records. Personally, these two tracks are definite stand outs on this record for their crazy narrative parts and instrumental ideas plus the weird lyrics. The tracks might not be quite progressive or well elaborated after all but they are highly entertaining and don't fail to put a little smile upon your face, even after multiple tries.

In fact, just a look on the song titles and a closer analyse of the way how this band combines different genres in a single song makes clear that they are a typically Japanese band but very unusual for the rest of the world. You simply should expect the unexpected and even though some structures feel a little bit random at first try, the compositions are very well thought out, offer loads of details to discover and quickly grow after a few tries.

It's hard to mention any highlights as all songs have something special to offer but I might point out my personal favourites for this review. The title track "Sex Machinegun" kicks off as a pitiless speed and thrash metal attack that gives you no time to breath. The song is not among the best ones on here but well chosen as an opener because it opens this incredible record with a big bang.

The following "Japan" reminds me of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" with some parts that bring back memories of Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Coming" plus some calm and melodic parts that give the track an epic edge. This song definitely has a lot of commercial potential and is easier to approach than most of the tracks on here. Other songs of this category would be the sped up "High Speed Samurai" that also includes some laid back passages featuring vocals that could also fit to a more commercially orientated melodic rock band and I might also mention "Hanabi-La 大回転" that can almost be described as half ballad with a strong and sympathetic touch of the eighties. Japanese bands definitely have a talent for original ballads with some pathetic moments and I have always liked the ballads of Loudness or X Japan. It's up to you to decide if you like or dislike this kind of emotional kitsch but if you dig this, you won't find anything better outside of Japan.

My personal highlight is though the closing "Burn ~愛の炎を燃やせ~". The track is a mixture of a pitiless speed and thrash banger featuring highly melodic Iron Maiden double guitar leads, martial male background choirs in the key of Manowar and incredibly versatile high pitched vocals. This track must be one if not the most energizing album closer I have ever witnessed. The band opens the record with a bang and closes its first chapter at full speed instead of putting a pathetic ballad at the end as many bands would usually do. Well, there is not much usual about Sex Machineguns and that's what makes this album so intriguing. This band should definitely get more attention. It's up to you readers now to get up and out of your comfort zone to discover something new and spread the word about it.

Everyone should listen to this. - 98%

maidenpriest, April 20th, 2004

Now this, my children, is what it's all about. Heavy fekking Metal. Take one part Megadeth, one part German power (incidentally one of their song titles), one part Iron Maiden, stir together with dangerously ludicrous and hilarious lyrics, and what do you get? Sex.... Machineguns!!!!! Best japanese metal bend ever? Quite possibly. It's definitely close. (Note: I'm only actually going into the background as it's the debut album) Definitely the best japanese band of the 90s for me, anyway. Let's get to the songs now...

1. Sex Machineguns - The title track, and a good one at that. Somewhat similar to 'Hit The Lights' in that it starts off as noise and then enters BANG with an almost punk riff, but with a thrash sound. This is pure attitude, complete with lyrics about onanistic sex (yeah, that's right, wanking!) Seeing young japanese ladies sing their hearts out to this is hilarious. (check out their DVDs)

2. Japan - A song about how great living in Japan is, and the Japanese spirit, or Yamato-damashii. An unusual melody but somewhat catchy. Good track overall. Good guitar work.

3. Scorpion Death Rock - Now this is hilarious, about being stung by scorpions, the song simulates the delirious state that scorpion poison puts you in. With death metal vocals. One of my favourites. Great drumming, and a shredding solo too.

4. Devil Wing - After a long intro (too long) the song gets really good. A strong melody with a good chorus, the riff reminiscent of Loudness' SDI. The solo shreds, too. See? SM can do serious songs too. (Serious if haven't seen the video, which I highly recommend, great sense of humour)

5. Sakurajima - A song about the volcano at Sakurajima, a japanese volcanic island. This has really funny lyrics and is a good song overall.

6. High Speed Samurai - This rips through all the cliches of Samurai 'chambara (sword-fighting)' films and makes a really good song. Very up-tempo with a really happy, power-metal style chorus.

7. Fami-Res (Family Restaurant) Bomber - Now this is a really great track, genius lyrics too. About how a guy had a date at a Fami-Res but was stood up, and the waitress really pisses him off with her incompetence. The ending is hilarious.

8. Inu No Seikatsu (My Life As A Dog) - A love song (still quite thrash) about how a guy loves this girl so much that he becomes her dog (literally) to be with her. Unusual expression of true love to say the least, but kind of sweet at the same time.

9. Hanabi-LA Daikaiten (Rotating Fireworks Petal? Difficult to translate.) - A song about vampires, with awesome high pitched vocals. The chorus is really excellent, with an incredible (my favourite) guitar solo. One of the best tracks on the album.

10. Burn -Aino Honoo Wo Moyase- - Best track on the album, and a great album closer. Incredible high pitched vocals, and an incredible (but extremely melodic) twin lead harmonising guitar solo (my brother's favourite solo).

All in all, one of my favourite albums of all time, only just eclipses its successor though, due to existence of variety (Ballads and mid-tempo songs), whereas the next album is almost all light-speed thrash songs. I only mentioned shredding guitar solos in some songs, they are only the ones that stand out. The album is full of excellent shredding solos, some of them twin leads with harmony, with the difference that they fit the songs really well and never once descend into pure fretboard-wanking. If you understand Japanese, get this, even if you don't, get this, and get someone else to tell you what the lyrics arte about. Because the lyrics are what elevates this even further above other excellent thrash/power metal. Buy it. You won't be disappointed, I guarantee it.