BOU SOU NEZUMI “RAT BAG” 5-SONG 7″EP (ANSWER RECORDS- NAGOYA, JAPAN, 1996)
When I’m snapping a photo of a white picture sleeve I like to
put a colorful background behind it so enjoy the lime green.
The cover model on the sleeve is the band’s drummer Aki Satake
who looks only about 10 years old here
The PS is a classic “pocket sleeve”. Of course it’s on thin, fragile
paper that we all love which easily rumples. While taking photos of
it for this post I discovered that the glue has come undone on one side.
In eBay seller terms that of course translates to “Almost perfect sleeve”
Nice labels on both sides, too!
As mentioned in my last posting, that of the 2nd Zymotics 7″, here is the pre-Zymotics band Bou Sou Nezumi from several years earlier. The lineup for both bands was exactly the same: Toru on bass and vocals; Aki Satake on drums; and Dai on guitar. But I can totally see why they changed their name from band to band ‘cuz- while both bands are great in their own right- they are definitely separate entities. The Zymotics stuff is much more polished and tight while this Bou Sou Nezumi EP is garage-y, raw, trashy and unpolished.
The whole EP is in-the-red and a pretty bonkers affair from start to finish without any letup. The first track is “Fuck Rat Fuck”, and you know you’re in for a good time while a song title like that! It’s an instrumental but don’t let that scare you away, o dedicated punk fan and hater of instrumentals. It’s actually my favorite song on the whole record and can still make my jaw drop similar to the first time I heard it in ’97. It’s a rather unrelenting, unnerving song with an evil vibe all through it (at least that’s what my ears hear). If memory serves me right, I found this EP in a local used bin here in Chicago in early ’97 and NOT the new bin- the original owner might have been scared away or somethin pretty quick. Their loss. The cover caught my eye and then I saw the record title and decided to take a chance on it. See, at that time in my life, funds were kind of limited so taking a chance on a $4 record I knew nothing about was kind of a big decision sometimes. When I got home and dropped the needle on “Fuck Rat Fuck” my I was like “Good God! What the hell is this thing?!!!”
The rest of the EP sounds like it was one big take in the studio, which incidentally was the same place (Huck Finn Studios- what a corny name) that the first Zymotics EP was recorded at two years later. The other four songs just pound away and have Toru’s screechy vocal style that carried over to the first Zymotics record too. There’s even some “mosquito” guitar here and there that also helps give it the “fingernails-on-the-chalkboard” vibe. This is the kind of record that, had it been around when I was in high school in the 80’s living at my boyhood home, would have been a perfect “parent annoyer” record that would force them to clench their teeth, cover their ears and would have kept them out of my room. Har har. I totally remember choosing certain parent-clearing records in high school that I’d put on when I got tired of my Mom coming in my room over and over to remind me to straighten up my pigsty. Ah the memories…
This EP was Bou Sou Nezumi’s only record but apparently they also appeared on a 1997 Repent Records comp LP (‘member that label?) called A World Full of Friends that had three other songs: “Robot Party”; “Needle Crazy”; and “I Don’t Need You”. Never having heard this comp, I have no idea what these songs sound like but I am guessing that they are in a similar vein and that they didn’t soften up and go all powerpop on them. If anyone can share this comp with me, I would greatly appreciate it.