Gomess were one of those groups who had amazing chemistry, released some fantastic music back in the day, then broke up with a striking lack of ceremony. They formed in the Shinjuku section of Tokyo in 1985 and were a classic, four-piece, punk band consisting of vocalist Hisae, guitarist Osamu, bassist Hana, and drummer Maziboo. They would break up in 1989 after only having released one proper, six-track album, 1987’s Demonstration.
Like many small punk records from the ’80s, it’s next to impossible to get your hands on them now, which is why you can thank your lucky stars that Seattle’s Immaculate Obscurity has reissued Demonstration on cassette. But really, someone had to, because Demonstration absolutely rules!
In terms of reference points, Gomess doesn’t wander too far off the beaten path of ’70s punk. In fact, I would say that their sound strike for pay dirt at the exact midpoint between The Ramones’s first four albums and Blondie’s Plastic Letters. What makes Gomess so great is just how perfectly they stick this balance of buzzy pop and teflon coated garage, and how totally tight their version of it is.
Hisae is able to maintain a silky-smooth melody while firing off verses like a full-loaded mack-10. Guitarist Osamu cycles between white-hot solos and chattering, scene-chewing, buzz-bomb riffs. And the rhythms that Hana and Maziboo are able to produce feels as consequential as an earthquake that summons a typhoon. When their talents combine, they become simply unstopable.
“Go A Bomb!!” rolls across the landscape like a hip-shaking hurricane. “War to the Knife” is a surf-billy drag race on the fiery edge of disaster. “Yeah Yeah Yeah” channels some rambunctious Sham 69 energy to lay down a Ramones style anthem for soccer hooligans shenanigans. “Shadow Factory” is suffused with shades of cutting intrigue.
“God Bless Me” is a confessional frak of emotions and regrets, that nonetheless sounds hopefully for a new day. And Lastly, “Vox Populi” burns with a bright rosy hue like a neon light experiencing a power surge, barely able to contain the energy coursing through it before exploding into a million technicolored fractals.
You can buy and stream Demonstration below via Bandcamp.
You can learn more about Immaculate Obscurity Records and their other releases here.