Wednesday 15 May 2013

Great Northern Screamo #1 - Dip Leg (Writer - Christer Lunnan-Reitan)

Since I started this blog, I've got to know so many like-minded people who are either in bands, run labels or just like music. Sometime, even people that fall into all categories. One such person is Christer Lunnan-Reitan. Christer runs a label called Listen To Aylin Records in Oslo, Norway (which I'll be featuring here in a few weeks) and has released music for bands like Suis La Lune, Her Breath on Glass and Calvacades.
As well as running a label, he also sang in a number of bands in Norway, including screamo band Adoor.

I asked Christer if he would contribute some reviews to my blog, after numerous conversations on Facebook about Japanese screamo as well as screamo in general. Christer is a huge fan of screamo/emo bands and as I wanted to know about more bands from the genre, I thought there'd be nothing better than inviting him to share some of his favourite bands and records. So, without wasting any time, here's the first review in a series I'm calling "Great Northern Screamo". It features Japanese hardcore/screamo band Dip Leg.

Dip Leg – The Sympathy Without Love CD (I’ve Come For Your Children, 2002)

I’ve only recently heard the music of Dip Leg, though this release should be one of the easier ones for Japanese hardcore-fans to get a hold of. Seeing as it’s the first international release for the band, you would think they would get more attention now that people still go nuts over ENVY and Heaven In Her Arms.
Dip Leg plays a much more ferocious brand of hardcore/scream/chaos than the above mentioned bands, blending more chaotic and spastic elements into ambient-parts, but never crossing over into the realm of post-rock or post-metal/ sludge a la ISIS, Year Of No Light (although I’d recommend Dip Leg for people into those bands as well). The lyrics are all in Japanese, but the CD has the English translation of the lyrics in its booklet.

The record starts off with Ideal and Fact, setting the tone for the entire records; after a second you can hear what the band is capable of, with driving bass lines, mesmerising guitars and guttural vocals over incredible driving drums. Chaotic and intense hardcore, blending into a hypnotically epic masterpiece. The record continues into Rod Lost Die Understand, a more typically screamo-sounding (and I use the word screamo and emo in the best possible sense, no My Chemical Romance-esque-bands intended) with lots of clean-ish guitars and driving drums, quirky rhythm changes and extremely passionate and sincere vocals.  Crossing over into shouted and sung vocals at times, the screamed vocals still dominate the sound as a whole. I decided to only talk about these two tracks as they show the different outskirts of Dip Leg’s sound, showing their span within their own hardcore-blend.

If I should compare Dip Leg to another band that’s similar, I have to say it sound like a combination of early Envy, Kaospilot and We Came Out Like Tigers; The clean guitars with the fascinating and beautiful melodies, wrapped together with an extreme intensity and sincerity as well as epic segments that leaves you rather breathless. But at the same time, Dip Leg have their own unique sound and style (as I find typical to the whole Japanese emo/ screamo/ chaos-scene, a scene I love), making it sound refreshing and simply amazing compared to the run-of-the-mill conveyor belt emo made at the Hype Factory. 

It’s hard to pinpoint the strongest tracks and moments on the record, as all of them excel in what they try to accomplish; drivingly brutal, but yet emotional songs without being sappy or cliché.  This is true passion and sincerity, the way hardcore is meant to be played. Even though Dip Leg stray away from typical clichés, I’m afraid I have to use one to fully explain this music; this is passion, not fashion.

Pick this up from the label (formerly called I’ve Come For Your Children, now called Meatcube), support a great band and a fantastic label.

Listen to the album here:-

Buy it:

Meatcube Website -
Meatcube Facebook -

You can visit Christer's label - Listen To Aylin Records, here and on Facebook here

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