Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Review - 13

Artist: Sads

Posted on Thu, Jul 24, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Back in 1999, a ferociously loud group called Sads was unleashed upon the Japanese rock scene with a debut album, "Sad Blood Rock 'N' Roll," that remains one of the most pungent and potent blasts of full-bodied rock mayhem to emerge post-"Appetite for Destruction." In the same way that Guns ' Roses embodied the raw, dark trashiness of the '80s Sunset Strip, Sads is the gob-smacked middle finger of Japan's new rock scene. Shamelessly glam and glamorously shameless (particularly the punk spasms of vocalist Kiyoharu), "Sad Blood Rock 'N' Roll" was woven from threads that ran through Tokyo's garage-rock scene, the country's healthy love of hard rock and the foppish overload of "visual kei," a kind of hyperglam monstrosity that's equal parts Sisters of Mercy and GWAR. Unbelievably (and unlike many of their kei counterparts, whose music quickly became progressively mushier and ballad-oriented as time passed), four years and three albums later, Sads is still making alarmingly aggressive and completely exciting new music. "13" isn't possessed of the open-wound paroxysms that made earlier tracks like "Honey Honey" so thrilling, but Kiyoharu's wobbly shout is still effective and the riff-conscious propulsion of songs like "Psycho," "Depravity Day" and "Too Fast to Die" maintains an impossibly high energy level throughout the album's, er, 13 tracks. Yes, Sads stretches out on some mellower tunes (the seven minutes of the melodramatic "Sherry" are about four minutes too much), but the majority of the album is given over to their strong point: blistering, full-on rock & roll that's thick with electricity and venom. While most guitar-driven rage in the States has been given over to angsty thud and post-metal posturing, it's incredibly inspiring to find a band this resolutely devoted to rock's explosively sexual power; meaning that, Sads may very well be the best rock band on the planet.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

Sept. 15, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation