Existing in Sapporo, Hokkaido from 1988 until 1991, F.U.P. continued in the Japanese tradition of raw, violent hardcore punk. Their sound harkened back to its most classic era earlier in the decade like fellow Sapporo acts Napalm and G-Gas or even in the vain of more popular bands like Kuro and flexi-era Deadless Muss. With only one widely distributed release in the form of a compilation appearance, the band released, at a feverish pace, a slew of cassettes during this period, all of which were seldom heard outside of their immediate circle.
Perhaps due to the band's only recorded appearance on vinyl being their inclusion on the seminal Sapporo City Hardcore 7" flexi compilation (MCR Company, 1990) alongside Slang and Satanic Hell Slaughter, F.U.P., to the casual listener, has been unjustly relegated to the status of mere footnote in the annals of Japanese hardcore punk lore. The band's cassette releases remain unknown to most people.
The Noise And Chaos LP, which compiles 1990's Bootleg cassette, the entirety of the recording session for the Sapporo City Hardcore compilation split between the two tracks that appeared on the comp and the two songs given away for free on the No!! cassette, as well as the best material from 1991's Stop The Lawless An Act cassette, should position the band in an entirely different light: as one of the finest 80s/90s hardcore punk bands to emerge from Japan's nothernmost prefecture.
Tracks A1-A7 from Bootleg CS, self-released in 1990
Tracks B1-B2 from V/A - Sapporo City Hardcore 7" flexi comp, released on MCR Company in 1990
Tracks B3-B4 from No!! CS, self-released in 1990
Tracks B5-B9 from Stop The Lawless An Act CS, self-released in 1991
Our take: Bitter Lake Records offers us another slice of obscure Japanese hardcore, this time from F.U.P., who were active in the late 80s and early 90s in Sapporo, on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. I wasn’t familiar with F.U.P. before this release; they only released cassettes and two tracks on the Sapporo City Hardcore flexi on MCR Records while they were around. The insert is a little confusing about which of these tracks come from which sessions / releases, but assuming that the tracks on the LP are in chronological order, F.U.P.’s earlier material had a strong 80s Japanese hardcore influence, with the Discharge-inspired rhythms and gruff vocals reminding me of many classic 80s Japanese hardcore releases. While many of those bands suffered from primitive and/or idiosyncratic recordings, all the tracks on this LP sound fantastic, revealing a band who executed their stark compositions with power and precision, much like S.O.A. was doing in America a decade earlier. While F.U.P.’s early stuff is strong (and recommended listening if you enjoyed the Secretors flexi we wrote about last week), for me the real treat is the later tracks. On the latter part of the LP, F.U.P. is a three-piece with drummer Oichin taking over vocals, and his percussive style reminds me of Fugu from Gauze. As with Bitter Lake's last release from Kyosanto, fans of classic Japanese hardcore won’t want to miss this one.