The new album from the East Anglia hardcore punks, a side project from The Domestics, is being jointly released by Kibou Records in the UK and Germany’s Amok Records
UK DIY hardcore punks Tokyo Lungs have released their debut long-player Soul Music, supporting it with a new video for album cut We Surveil Us. A 54-second blast of hardcore punk that’s firmly in keeping with the rest of the album, the surveillance state diatribe is one of 24 tracks packed into Soul Music’s 19 minutes.
Tokyo Lungs is a side-project of Simon Battery, from the Domestics and Casual Nausea, on drums and James Domestic, also from The Domestics – as well as Pi$$er, Körd Värld and too many more to mention.
They formed in late 2019/early 2020 after James wrote the nine songs that appeared on Tokyo Lungs’ self-titled debut 7” released in May 2020.
“People seemed to love it, so we thought we might as well do an LP,” James told Punktuation. “The drums were recorded at Simon’s house, the guitars and bass were recorded at my house, and the vocals at the bunker The Domestics rehearsal space, in Rendlesham. [It was all done] over about four or five weeks in the summer of 2020.”
The duo takes inspiration from the first Circle Jerks LP and the bare-bones sound of Negative Approach, and Soul Music keeps with the Covid times on Lockdown and Pandemic, while You Don’t Even Think You’re a Racist, tackles one of the insidious manifestations of a longer-standing social problem.
Released on James’ own Kibou Records label, Soul Music builds on their first 7” and is fast and to the point, with stripped-down production that brings out the best in its violent, antisocial-sounding music. It’s got heart but could seem at odds with the genre after which it’s named.
“I love soul music,” James explained. “Not like Luther Vandross and all that cheesy old nonsense; proper good, rare and raw soul and original R&B and hard-edged funk. Sixties stuff and seventies stuff in the main. The proper gritty stuff you don’t really hear on the radio and have to dig for in the right places. I’m a very occasional DJ, and I’ll play this stuff out and reggae stuff too.
“Secondly, and I don’t want to sound like a pretentious arse, but all the music I play has soul in it, ‘cos I give it everything. I’m not just making music for the sake of making it. I also like the confusion.”
Listen to Soul Music here:
But, although James and Simon make a band-sized racket on their songs, the lack of touring members – and brevity of the material – mean it’s unlikely the band will ever tour.
“We’d need to get two more people in as it’s just me and Simon on the recordings,” James explained. “Even if we played every song on the LP and every song on the 7” – 33 songs in total – we’d still only have about a 27-minute set … but I can’t see us remembering 33 songs without weekly rehearsal.”
In fact, as James notes, the band has never actually rehearsed together, let alone toured.
More info about Tokyo Lungs ‘ere
Liked this story? ‘Ave a read of these…
- Nigel Bennett: My Top Ten Punk Tracks
- Lookout Records: The Rise and Fall of a Punk Rock Legend
- 10 German Punk Bands, You NEED On Your Playlist!
- Die Deutsche Punkszene: A Brief History of German Punk
- Gaye Advert: My Top Ten Punk Tracks
I’m a punk rock aficionado, martial arts pupil and fair-to-middling student of the Bengali language. I’m also a journalist, writer and editor, specialising in medicine and technology.
Click on Dom’s photo for more of his articles