Friday 23 January 2015


GenresPunk / Rock / Emo / Screamo / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Skramz
Related artists?.
CountrySan Jose, California USA
Years Active2007-2010
Song: "No Rest for the Rich (cause they're all doing coke)"
Album: "Whales"
Year: 2007
Label(s): Self Released / Texas Toast DIY / Kyeo Speaks / Affinity Index
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the January Mix#12 right here or get the new February 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofGRYSCL, Dear TonightComa Regalia, Deers!, Lion Of The North, Dream Caste, We Were Skeletons, Weakness, Corea, (old) Loma Prieta, Mustaphamond, Saetia, People's Temple Project, Beau Navire, Adaje, ...Who Calls So Loud, MansмищаCaught In The Fall and Occam's Razor aka PROPER SCREAMO.

MATSURI wasn't beautiful, or extremely tight, or ridiculously talented. Those adjectives are generally used for bands like Hot Cross, Off Minor and Saetia. What MATSURI were, though, was passionate, emotional and committed to capturing the true essence of their band which comes across as blatantly honest.

I remember hearing their split with Deers! that I stumbled across about five years ago and was like, holy hell, both of these bands are amazing! I ended up scouring online for old physical copies and digital files of stuff that I couldn't find. MATSURI released quite a few releases in a short time and seem to have a very dedicated fan base to this day, even though they broke up a couple o' years ago.

What did they sound like? Imagine GRYSCL, Deers!, Coma Regalia and Saetia slapping each other around and makin' babies. You've got the really soft, late 90's screamo sound with noodley guitars ala Saetia, Caught In The Fall and Mustaphamond coupled with some chaotic parts (usually with underlying melodies and not just craziness) and some great, high pitched (but not overly shrieky) vocals much akin to Deers!, Lion Of The North and Kodan Armada.

Every release that MATSURI pumped out had at least one gem on it, usually numerous. Let's talk about a couple relatively quickly. Their earlier work on 'Whales' include the noodley/epic "No Rest For The Rich (Cause They´re All Doing Cocaine)" and "" that are the band's softer and looser material. "Details in the Static (so keep your chin up)" has a pretty obvious Kodan Armada/Dear Tonight vibe in both the instrumentals and vocals. The split with Moldar houses one of the band's best and definitely their longest/most epic song that has hints of Joshua Fit For BattleCity Of Caterpillar and Corea during "Horsemask".

My two favourite releases by the band are the aforementioned 'split with Deers!' and the band's dying gasp and very appropriately titled 'Endship'. From the split, "Kurt Russel" has the band experimenting with harder material and a much more solidified outlook on structure during the writing process. "Fist of Chocolate" takes the aggressive tide straight from the previous track and blasts out one of the band's all-time best songs. Swirling guitars, sweet time changes and the best screams MATSURI has ever offered us, goddamn I love this song. As for 'Endship', it is quite obvious from the get-go of "Open Your Chest (part 1)" that dual vocals are going to kick major ass. This song is fucking epic as shit and clocks in at 4:48 - don't pass up on this one! Some other killer tunes on this LP are "Breathe Out Your Soul (part 2)" and ":", although the entire record is fantastic and reminds me of Loma Prieta's 'Lost City' LP but a bit more relaxed.

Whilst writing this review I stumbled across the band's unreleased single and unreleased cassette and I've been jamming them constantly. Really good stuff that takes 'Endship' to the next level by further harnessing the screamy with the thick progressions and noodley riffs and cutting most, if not all of the filler. From the 'Unreleased Tape' tracks "1" and "4" are my favourites (I've also split and posted the side a/side b as 4 separate tracks if you wanna download it here) and "There is No S in Texas ; Vietnam is a Continent" is really fucking good as well. The live jams are surprisingly listenable and sound as good and sometimes better than the album versions!

If there was something that rubbed me the wrong way, which was rarely, it was some of the clean vocals on the band's earlier work. Let's be honest, there were a lot (and still are) a fair amount of screamo bands that inject singing with vocalists who haven't quite found their voice, and it comes off as both unnecessary and extremely honest in a slightly disfigured, naked kind of way. Some will dislike it and some will love it.

In the end my silly little beef with off-key singing is nearly irrelevant, as the vast majority of songs are fucking awesome. If you haven't dabbled in MATSURI yet and you dig screamo, just download the discography already by going to their bandcamp and donating a few bucks.



2007 - Whales cdEP (stream/donate/download here)
2007 - Deers! split cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2008 - Summer Tour 09 Live at Poo Haus (Moldar split) cdLP (stream/donate/download here)

2009 - Sell My Pipe If You Have To (Moldar split) 12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2010 - Endship 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)
2010 - Unreleased Tape (stream/donate/download here)
2010 - Unreleased Song (stream/donate/download here)


(2010) MATSURI - "Untitled 1" (from 'Unreleased Tape')

(2010) MATSURI - "Untitled 4" (from 'Unreleased Tape')

(2010) MATSURI - "Open Your Chest (part 1)" (from 'Endship')

(2010) MATSURI - "Breathe Out Your Soul (part 2)" (from 'Endship')

(2010) MATSURI - ":" (from 'Endship')

(2010) MATSURI - "There is No S in Texas ; Vietnam is a Continent" (from 'digital single')

(2009) MATSURI - "Horsemask" (from 'Moldar' split)

(2007) MATSURI - "Kurt Russel" (from 'Deers!' split)

(2007) MATSURI - "Fist of Chocolate" (from 'Deers!' split)

(2007) MATSURI - "No Rest For The Rich (Cause They´re All Doing Cocaine)" (from 'Whales')


MATSURI out of print mp3 discography download linked to bandcamp / additional links


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