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About JimHarper

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    Kiwamu's Bitch
  • Birthday 07/22/1975

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    Japanese rock music, horror movies from around the world, playing guitar.

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  1. JimHarper

    When I heard Karyu had joined a new band, I immediately checked out the first album with him (Babel), and was less than impressed to discover that it's bland melodic rock with occasional nice riffs, so I immediately forgot about them. Last year I was checking out the sale boxes at Futaba and found the very first Angelo album (The Freak Show) and since it was 100 yen I figured I'd give it a go. Pleasantly surprised to find it's full of gritty and loud Marilyn Manson-style guitar riffs, so I rented the rest of the early albums and really enjoyed them. Ever the optimist, I decided to try the Karyu/Giru albums and discovered that while Babel is still pretty awful, the rest of them are much better. It's not D'espairsRay (but then, nothing else ever could be), but each album (especially Faith) has its fair share of punchy, driving, hard-edged guitars and pounding bass and drums. I don't honestly care too much for the ballads, but I've heard worse. I'd like to hear the other mini-albums (can't find them) and I'm interested in their forthcoming album. I'd like to see them live, but they're not coming to Hiroshima. I'll have to be satisfied with Defspiral in March.
  2. JimHarper

    I would definitely start with Dogma, their last-but-one album. Their earlier albums are all fairly dark and heavy, although saddled with the drummer's occasional pop tunes. Division, Beautiful Deformity and Ninth all have their heavy moments, but they're all more varied too.
  3. JimHarper

    I can understand questions regarding the appeal of this band, because to be honest they really didn't appeal to me much until around Toxic. By the time of Beautiful Deformity I came to see that they're actually a decent band with some good ideas and a desire to keep pushing their music in new directions. I'm still not on board with everything they do (the really early stuff is so sloppy and limited compared to their later material, while Dogma didn't grab me a great deal), but now I consider them one of my favourites. Really enjoyed Ninth. Having said that, I'll shed no tears if they announce that the drummer isn't going to be writing any more songs... But that's just me ;)
  4. Apologies for resurrecting another old thread, but I wanted to the chance to throw in my contributions. In alphabetical order: Ali Project: Coppelia's Casket (Noir) Bana: Shell (Witch Hunter Robin) Buck-Tick: Kuchizuke (Shiki) Granrodeo: Decadence (Demon Prince Enma) Granrodeo: Rose Hip Bullet (Togainu no Chi) Granrodeo: Trance (Black God) LM.C: Rock The LM.C/Oh My Juliet (Red Garden) Nana Kitada: Kesenai Tsumi (Full Metal Alchemist) Nana Kitada: Tsukihana (Hell Girl, 3rd season) Origa/Yoko Kanno: Rise (GITS:SAC 2nd Complex) Suilen: Magnolia (Hellsing Ultimate) All three Suilen tracks on that show are excellent, but that's the best one. X-Japan: Forever Love (X: The Movie) There are others- Ready Steady Go is the only L'Arc-en-ciel song I actually like (likewise the Galneryus OP theme for Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne), Granrodeo could fill a list by themselves, and that's before we even get started on Yoko Kanno and Yuki Kajiura/Kalafina- but those are my favourites. The Dress remix is okay, but it's just not in the same league as the original. It was tempting to squeeze Mell's 'Red Fraction' in there somewhere too....
  5. JimHarper

    Hello! Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I've taken pictures of the both the SB and the Schaft CDs, but this forum requires a URL for pictures, which I don't have. I can send them via Twitter, so let me know if that's cool. The price of the Schaft album would be £7, with £2.50 for p&p. I can also email the photos too., obviously
  6. I don't now if this fits the bill entirely, but the new Vamps album 'Underworld' has gone in a very industrial rock vein, much darker and heavier than their first three albums. There are various western rock guests on there, including one of the guitarists from Rammstein, the singer from Motionless in White and Apocalyptica. It might not be to everyone's taste, but I'm enjoying the big riffs and industrial crunch.
  7. JimHarper

    Sorry for lateness in replying! I'll get some pictures taken tomorrow and post them. As the title suggests, it's all from the Earth Born, Document and Ai to Heiwa era. There's a lengthy essay and full track details (in Japanese) as well as a lyric booklet too. I'm thinking £6 plus p&p. Paypal's fine and I don't mind shipping anywhere. Before we agree on anything I'll get an accurate p&p figure from the post office. Just out of interest, would you be interested in Schaft's Switchblade album? I think I have Suilen's Dawn around somewhere too.
  8. JimHarper

    It's 18 months too late, but I have the Soft Ballet 'Singles 89-91' album available if it's of any interest. It has a couple of straight album tracks (same as the album versions) and a couple of single edits (just cut down to radio size), but the interesting stuff is two non-album singles, both of which I rate pretty highly, and a string of alternate versions. Some of them are actually quite a departure from the originals and surprisingly good. I don't know if it's of any interest to you.
  9. JimHarper

    I can agree with a lot of that. I love X-Japan, but Zilch was the first for me. It's definitely one of my most-listened albums of all time too. Losing Raven back in 2007 was such a big loss not just because I'm a huge Killing Joke fan, but because he was part of Zilch too. I still think that album stands as a fine legacy for both of them.
  10. JimHarper

    This slice of magnificent French awesomeness never fails to lift my heart:
  11. JimHarper

    Great, thanks for getting back to me! Breaking up after two albums seems something of a shame, especially given the quality of their material. I'll try and check out Orcalade, and I'll certainly be paying attention if EYA are planning more releases.
  12. JimHarper

    Okay, I know I'm a little late to the game here. Can anyone fill me in on exactly what happened to Eat You Alive? I got The World is Mine (Yours?), thought it was a pretty good effort with some excellent tunes. There was a gig advertised in London (this would be about 2012) that I was seriously considering checking out. But a few weeks later it was cancelled (allegedly because of poor ticket sales) and I don't recall hearing anything more about them after that. I figured they broke up, but does anyone have any more details concerning the situation? What else did they release in the way of albums? Thanks for your time!
  13. JimHarper

    My list hardly compares to these others, but I'm still proud of them all: 1. D'espairsRay, 18/07/09, the Garage, London. My first J-rock gig and it was absolutely amazing to see one of the first Japanese bands I loved. They absolutely rocked. 2. Girugamesh, 18/03/11, o2 Academy, London. I hated the GO album, but the gig was fantastic. The band were feeling pretty rough; the 3/11 earthquake had just happened and they all wanted to go home, but all flights to Japan were grounded, so they went ahead with the the tour. To their credit, they played really well, finishing with a version of 'Kowarete iku sekai' that I will never forget. 3. LM.C, 23/05/12, the Garage, London. A stupidly hot day, and it was a bloody nightmare getting to London for the gig. By the time I got there I had a splitting headache and figured I would probably leave quickly and go home and rest. Then they started playing. The volume was incredible. It was like a physical wall hitting you. I couldn't feel a damn thing, including the pain in my head. Loudest gig I've ever been to. By the end my headache was completely gone. Halfway through Maya started asking the crowd for requests. For the next forty minutes they played whatever the crowd asking for, singles, album tracks, b-sides, whatever. It was very cool. 4. Vamps, 07/10/13, o2 Academy, London. Fantastic party gig atmosphere. They played pretty much everything from their two albums, including their great version of 'Trouble'. My standout memory; partway through the gig, someone threw a very large purple bra on to the stage. Ju-Ken picked it up, put it on his head, tied the straps beneath his chin, and played the rest of the show with this big purple bra tied to his head. It was a classic rock moment. 5. Girugamesh, 09/06/14, o2 Academy, London. This time it was the MONSTER tour, and the material was all fantastic. They were loud, passionate and damn amazing. 6. MUCC, 18/05/15, o2 Academy, London. I really didn't like the SHANGRI-LA album, but they played plenty of the cooler older stuff too. Pretty much the first thing the singer said was: "Fucking jet-ragu." which got a big laugh. Good gig. 7. Buck-Tick, 10/12/17, Hiroshima. Given that BT have only ever played two gigs outside Japan, I'd pretty much given up any hope of ever seeing them live. So when I got to Japan and my girlfriend (who really doesn't like like my 'weirdo makeup music') said she'd got tickets to see them in a couple of days, I was pretty much in a state of ecstasy. They were amazing. They played a good mix of classics, early stuff, and later-period songs. Opened with a fantastic version of 'Dokudanjou Beauty RIP', as well as 'Speed', 'Iconoclasm', 'Angelic Conversation' and a stunning version of one of my favourites, 'Memento Mori'. An unforgettable night. Now, I just have Dead End, D'erlanger, the Gazette and X-Japan on my list to see...
  14. JimHarper

    Hope you're all having a good day I wanted to start a tread about your favourite VK/JR guitarists. It doesn't really matter what the criteria are for you, whether it's jaw-dropping technical ability, songwriting, versatility, influence, originality, sound or just looking really damn cool. The guys or girls who can start playing and have your attention from the first note, or who can crank out that favourite riff that makes your heart open up like a flower. Tell us who and why In no particular order: 1. hide (there's a shocker!). For just about all the reasons above. For sounding cool and passionate whether he's doing early X-Japan speed metal, Zilch-style industrial metal, groove-laden rock tunes like 'Pink Spider' or just high quality pop like 'Tell Me'. For throwing in technically flawless neo-classical harmonised leads, twangy country licks, 50s-style rockabilly phrases or even dipping into reggae, ambient and drum'n'bass. Such a wealth of talent and creativity. 2. You (Yuji Adachi) from Dead End. A very underrated player from a band that's influenced just about everyone. A mountain of cool metal tunes, as well as eastern-flavoured emotional ballads like the incredible 'Serafine', and some simply jaw-dropping effects-laden rippling guitar lines in 'Good Morning Satellite'. He can shred with the best of them, but saves it for when the song needs it. Successfully updated his sound into a hard-egded contemporary metal crunch full of complex riffs and squealing harmonics. 3. Cypher from D'erlanger. Despite being early icons of the VK scene, he doesn't get much credit for his raucous blend of rock, glam. punk and goth that sounds like he's fighting with the guitar rather than playing it. And he does look damn cool while he's doing it. 4. Kaoru from D'espairsRay. A master of industrial metal crunch, constructing pummelling but sometimes almost funky big rock riffs, but fully capable of bringing in the melodies where necessary, as well as cool high-register synth-inspired lead parts. 5. K.A.Z. from Vamps. Not a flashy player or prominent lead guitarist, together with Hyde he turns out big rock riffs that stay in your head for days. It's mostly fairly straightforward 5th chord, drop-D stuff, but even a few ill-advised ballads can't hide the fact that he's got a big flair for huge choruses and an overdriven but melodic sound. You could dismiss it as party rock, but it always gets me in the mood. Of course, there are plenty of others- the criminally overlooked Pata, post-punk-inspired masters like Hikari from Der Zibet and the guys from Buck-Tick (and on and on)- but these guys would be my top five. I'd love to hear what other people think!
  15. Hello everyone! I'm getting ready to move so there's some things I could do with moving on to better homes The item in question is the band score book for the first Vamps album, VAMPS. It includes full guitar and bass tab, as well as keyboard, drum and vocal notations. It's in mint condition. It's actually still in the wrapper. It cost me £30 originally, but I'd be happy to sell it along for £15 plus p&p. I'm flexible on the price for foreign currencies and happy to ship it anywhere. I can provide pictures if you want, and I'm happy to accept PayPal payments. If you 're interested let me know. As a general guide for guitarists, the songs inside are mid-level difficulty. Beginners will find it challenging, especially if you're not familiar with contemporary rock guitar playing. The songs are almost exclusively in drop-D tuning, so they're not pick-up-and-play stuff. However, anyone with a couple of years' experience on guitar (or someone who puts in a few months' effort) will keep the hang of them pretty quickly. There's nothing really technically challenging here; you'll pick up 'Love Addict' a lot quicker than most X-Japan stuff! P.S. The book also includes the tab for their (rather fantastic) version of Shampoo's Trouble, which was including on some Japanese editions of the album but not on the European one (except on the four-track DVD that accompanied the special edition). That was one of the reasons I bought the book in the first place, so I thought I'd mention it Thanks for your time!
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