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Ghoul: Night Out 12"

Ghoul: Night Out 12"

Tags: · 80s · hardcore · Japan · recommended · reissues · spo-default · spo-disabled
Ghoul Records
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Seminal 80's Japanese punk band, fronted by the one handed, raspy-voiced, fan-punching legend Masami, who passed on young (like many of his contemporaries) in the early 90's, apparently of liver failure brought on by excessive love of the drink.

The original Ghoul broke up in '85, as there's the official VHS entitled "Last Gig" out on ACC video label. The band got back together as "Ghoul II" with a different line-up in the late '86 (or possibly in the early '87), changed the name to "Sqwad" (originally called Masami with Sqwad) sometime during the summer of '88, either right before or after they played the "Complete Death" show at the Toshima Public Hall in Tokyo on July 17th '88, then broke up and got back together again as "Ghoul III" in '89 with just a slightly different line-up than "Ghoul II" and pretty much remained active until Masami puked the blood on the stage and went into a coma afterwards in the early '90s. "Ghoul II" and "Ghoul III" - that's exactly how Masami called themselves when they got reformed twice and those names were often mentioned in the interviews, magazine articles and that's how they were usually listed in the gig flyers as well. As most of the serious fans probably noticed, they're credited as "Sqwad (ex-Ghoul)" on the "Complete Death Live" VHS tape (released on January 1st '89), however, in the flyers for this show they were still listed as "Ghoul II". So, probably they changed the name to "Sqwad" right before this show or after, but sometime before the VHS came out. Later, they played as "Sqwad" during the year of '89, released 7" flexi on Slice Records and broke up before the mid '89 and got back together again later the same year (before the summer). The Ghoul tracks you find on the "Game Of Death" compilation LP (which was released in July '89) are the only recorded material by "Ghoul III", although they're simply credited as "Ghoul" on this release. Australian Import.

Our take: Unofficial collection LP from this 80s Japanese hardcore punk band that mostly takes its track listing from a 2004 CD-only collection compiling all of the band’s 80s-era releases. This collection starts off with the band’s Carry Out Fucking EP (which was bootlegged a while back… I also wrote a description of that release here), which is one of the truly great Japanese hardcore records of the 80s. Carry Out Fucking is interesting in that it really seems to anticipate where Japanese hardcore would go in the later 80s and 90s, combining the full-bore sonic attack of bands like Discharge and Disorder with elements of metal and more straightforward, classic punk like the UK Subs. However, this collection fills out the picture of Ghoul’s career quite a bit more, and it takes some unexpected twists and turns. For instance, their OI OI single from 1985 is, indeed, an oi! record, and a rather poppy one at that… definitely more Toy Dolls than Blitz with its bright, melodic chord progression. After that, Ghoul moves in more of a thrash metal-influenced direction, bringing the griminess and sinister quality of their earlier work to material that is way faster and more straightforwardly metallic, recalling the punked-up thrash of Nuclear Assault or Kreator. I’m not really a thrash metal guy, but Ghoul do a really impressive job of fusing the strongest elements of their punk-era approach into their metallic material, ending up with something that’s not all that dissimilar to where G.I.S.M. ended up going.