When I sent a friend of mine a copy of J~E II, Musicwhore.org’s homemade compilation of Japanese rock, he had the followng to say about Bleach:

there’s one in particular (track 5, believe) that hurt my ears the first time i heard it, but now its wayward screams and tinny guitars ala-System-Of-A-Down are oddly captivating


Bleach is a straight-ahead, take-no-prisoners punk band. No rap. No pop (with maybe the exception of “Koe”). Just ear-crushing guitars, a pair of screaming vocals and a drummer that can kick your posterior into next week.

(Not to be confused with the American Christian rock band of the same name, although probably more like the Nirvana album of the same name.)

After Japan Nite 2001 Sampler was passed around at this year’s SXSW festival, Bleach was perhaps the most anticipated band on the bill. When the Okinawa, Japan, trio played, they were amazing, but too many long pauses between numbers undermined the band’s set.

Of course, Bleach had half an hour to fill, and the band’s first album, Kibakuzai (or “Detonator”), contains only eight tracks and clocks in at a quick 22 minutes, but even those 22 minutes are packed with a rare kind of intensity.

On “Santa Claus” and “Kakumei Ryoushuudann”, Bleach veers from double-time rage to choatic noise to buzzsaw riffs all within two minutes. “Kobuta 28 Gou” and “Koe” are the closest things Bleach reaches to hooks, which basically means there are fewer barrages of noise.

By the end of Kibakuzai, listeners feel like they just got the workout of their lives. Folks who miss Super Junky Monkey when Mutsumi passed away may find themselves gravitating toward Bleach’s fist-hammering sound.

Definitely a band to watch.