Tainted Dickmen: The STD You Didn't Know You Wanted
With the recent media attention on the increased rate of STD infections in The United States, we decided it was time to talk about the grinding Thrash STD public service announcement, Tainted Dickmen. Hailing from Fukouka in Kyushu, the quartet have been spreading their infectious tunes all over Japan. Its impressive how often they get out to perform all over the country, from Osaka to Tokyo. And man do they bring the mosh. Besides, it's not every day you see a guitar with a body in the shape of a pair of testicles, which their guitarist abuses with frenzied glee.
Their first full length, Tornado Thrashing Bomber, was released earlier this year on Furious Records. It’s a whirlwind of thrashy hooks that seamlessly blend into grinding blast beats that simultaneously feels nostalgic and refreshing. It opens up with “Don’t Be Afraid”, an inspiring thrashy track with shouted uplifting lyrics telling the listener to find their happiness. This is followed by the grinding track “Basashi”, inspired by the Japanese dish of raw horse meat served with raw egg. Other tracks provide a musical break from the grinding thrash. “Grind Samba” is an upbeat percussive and bass jingle that is broken up by grinding riffs and blast beats before delving into a hook driven bridge. The instrumental track, “Take Up Arms”, harkens back to the glory of the 80s with epically melodic guitar work. It’s a song that sounds like it could match pretty well with a lot of classic action flicks. Personally, it always makes me think of Transformers: The Movie (1989)
Tainted Dickmen’s live performances are always a treat, and it’s fortunate that they play out so frequently. The kinetic energy of their sets emanate from the band and it’s clear that they enjoy playing out. You can see people looking at one another, almost like a wordless nod of understanding. No matter the size of the venue, it seems a pit invariably breaks out with reckless abandon.
So when we heard that they had to cancel a show earlier this year due to their drummer GP requiring surgery, we decided to reach out to make sure he was ok as well as to get the inside scoop with the band in general. Their guitarist Dai was kind enough to respond. He informed us that GP responded well to the surgery, and was eating healthy quantities of Korean BBQ a mere two days after the procedure. Three days after his recovery meal, he was already behind the drum kit for another show. I’m fairly certain GP is either inhuman or crazy, or both. Either way, we were happy to hear he bounced back so quickly.
Due to their busy gig schedule, they do a lot of travelling all over Japan. This has led to them becoming one of the most well-known bands in the underground scene. When asked about this, Dai insisted that they didn’t feel like their schedule was so busy. All the members of Tainted Dickmen are devoted to the band and contributing to their success. Dai also informed me that they draw quite heavily on Earache Records for inspiration, and during the recording process would often listen albums from their library in between sessions. The recording itself took approximately a week, he told me, fueled by a lot of food to keep up their energy.
Lyrically, Tainted Dickmen draws inspiration from their experiences. But there isn’t a distinct theme that ties all the songs together in that regard. Dai informed me, “We think deeply based on the message we want to deliver and finish all of the lyrics. We usually don't focus on a certain theme, and we consider each song individually. We’re inspired by the proverb ‘so many men, so many minds’”. The tracks on “Tornado Thrashing Bomber” are a mixed bag when it comes to lyrical themes. “Basashi” is a complaint about being sick and not being able to taste anything. “S.E.M.I.” has an introspective theme, as they consider the short lifespan of cicadas’ in comparison to that of human beings. “Invader” seems to be a discussion of the human condition, with another reference to food in there (these guys clearly love eating).
I’ve yet to get down to Fukouka, so I had to ask, how is the scene there? “In Fukuoka live houses, you can listen to various kinds of music, so we can cooperate with lots of bands which play different genres with different ideas. We’ve played with pop bands or melodic punk bands, etc. Hence, we stimulate each other at our events.” Overall, it sounds like the music scene there is varied yet still pretty small compared to Tokyo or Nagoya. But it’s always inspiring to hear about bands from different genres coming together and supporting each other.
In any case, Tainted Dickmen are here to stay. They just came off a tour with ACxDC last month and show no sign of letting up their musical epidemic. Dai claims that they wish to bring love and courage to lovers of Metal the world over. They’re off to a good start and I get the impression they will have the opportunity to fill their bellies with food from all over the world someday.
You can pick up a copy of Tornado Thrashing Bomber here.