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The best kept secret in music


"Dmonstrations s/t EP"

Dmonstrations is the best new punk band in San Diego right now. Fronted by wild-eyed, hyper-creative Tokyo-based/US commuting comic book artist Tetsunori Tawaraya, it is kind of the Le Shok school of punk but smarter than LS ever was. The drummer is a drum ? bass/breakbeat machine with poplocking snakes for arms, a guy way too good for punk rock, but thank god he? with us. Tetsunori shrieks, squeals, and gets all Melt Banana-y when his band jazzes effortless between funk outs and controlled spaz slides. If you see this band live and everybody should because they KILL ask Tetsunori if he has any of his comics in the tour van. They?e handmade, creepy in a Darger kind of way, and totally unique to his genius brain. - Kitty Magik Magazine

"Dmonstrations s/t EP"

Dmonstrations are a noise band from San Diego. Do I have to define “noise band”? Well, they’re guitar/bass/drums-driven, but the song structures aren’t really that defined. And the instruments certainly aren’t tuned traditionally. They’re a pretty rocking band, loud, fast, and strange. I don’t really know what else to say about them. This album is eight songs long and clocks in at a little over 13 minutes. It’s for those avant-garde punk rockers on the go! - Skratch Magazine

"Dmonstrations s/t EP"

This is the sound of too many years of social discomfort and sexual frustration catching up to you. West Coast no-wave revivalists Dmonstrations ("3/4 of their former outfit, dance-punk sensationalists Dosage and Usage", I'm told) blaze through 8 fractured bursts of herky-jerky fury in less than 15 minutes. The sound is akin to Arab On Radar and Ex Models being swallowed whole by Bootsy Collins. Though drummer Aaron Wade may have the inability to hold a solid groove for more than two bars and guitarist/vocalist Tetsunori Tawaraya may wield one hell of a fragmented axe, bassist Nick Barrett manages to anchor the wayward ship with a propulsive, omnipresent low-end grumble. A major qualm I have with this record -- well, at 13 minutes it's pretty much the only one I could put my finger on before the damn thing finished -- is what I call the "guessing game factor." Dmonstrations play a strain of music that's, to say the least, pretty well-worn territory. On their self-titled EP, the trio basically sound like a more naive, less urbane version of the aforementioned bands. Without putting much of themselves into the music, listeners are often left guessing which band Dmonstrations is imitating at each turn. If there's any band Dmonstrations are out-right guilty of pilfering it's the late Brainiac. Dissonant chords supported by uncomfortable but still highly infectious rhythms -- yes it's all very challenging and intense. But the problem is Dmonstrations lack the freewheeling spontaneity and that keen sense that it could all self-destruct at any moment that characterized so many of Brainiac's records. Tawaraya's voice also bears a striking resemblance to Timmy Taylor on a number of tracks (most noticeably on the opening "Silencer"), convulsing and contorting his larynx in what could be construed as either heartfelt tribute or ignorant thievery. There's an unhinged quality on a few songs that suggest Ex Models ("Texture") and maybe even a less accomplished Melt-Banana ("Flying Saucer"). There's no getting around the fact that Dmonstrations sound like a product of their influences. But even so, the trio give off a startling, kinetic energy that can't be denied. Regardless, it would be nice to see the group put a little bit of themselves into the mix. An auspicious debut from a trio who need to move out of the herky-jerky ghetto. - Tiny Mix Tapes

"Dmonstrations s/t EP"

I love this shit! It sounds like a group of talented musicians that have come together just to make some wild-ass noise. The songs they make don't necessarily exhibit their prowess, but their euthusiasm comes through like a speeded teen. I think a lot of people in these spazzy bands are maybe closeted thespians because they love to do their shit with unselfconscious dorky gusto. - Fran Magazine

"Dmonstrations s/t EP"

The goal of this San Diego three-piece is to make their listeners feel uncomfortable by creating a frantic, paranoid cacophony, and these guys definitely achieve that. Formed by ex-members of the dance punk ensemble Dosage and Usage, the mandate of this new entity is to step forward to create something new instead of rehashing all their old songs. Not even halfway through the first track you’ll be left wondering what in the hell’s going on as front-man Tetsunori Tawaraya contorts his words into a bizarrely slashed up sound that leaves each lyric imperceptible. This band definitely deserves credit for the effort they put in to avoid what every other band is doing by messing around with string placement and tuning. There isn’t a song on here that lasts more than two minutes, which is a good thing because if it went on any longer it would get intolerable. This album is unconventional to the point where you’ll debate with yourself on whether or not it’s any good, but it is fast, loud, and frenetic, so if that’s what you’re after then this is where to go. - Exclaim!

"Dmonstrations s/t EP"

The San Diego sun must have gotten to Dmonstrations -- they're hallucinating, tripping over themselves, breaking each other's equipment, and they're drugged and/or drunk beyond comprehension. But with their grip on the last strands of consciousness, they were able to concoct a dizzying eight song EP -- a short but powerful 13 minutes of music.
"Silencer" opens with acid-laced percussion, setting the scene with disjointed tones and stream-of-conscious yelps from Tetsunori Tawaray, who also creates comic books in his spare time. With "Texture", Dmonstrations achieves a Blood Brothers-style cranky vocal duality, which is the closest they come to an archetypal rock song structure. It's quite messy, at least until a tumultuous but rhythmic bass breakdown calms Tawaray, who sounds like he's in the midst of horrendous teething pains. "Dear Willy" is an orgy of seriously deranged layers, from lo-fi crunch guitar to Tawaray's belligerent sneers, all encompassed with Aaron Wade's speed-snorting drum technique -- a mix of Lightning Bolt and Deerhoof, unique but on the verge of pretentiousness. The more rock-structured "Flying Saucer" follows, with Tawaray pleading that "he's been feeling okay", but his whines are as credible as a Weekly World News article about space aliens hugging John Kerry. That might just be the point, though; Dmonstrations may hit the same wavelength as smut-driven, alien-invading tabloids, but shit, those are still in business, right?

The EP peaks on "Blue", which explores a non-linear narrative structure comparable to a David Lynch flick; it's a sonic explosion that borders on white noise. You can't be sure if you're hearing something from a psychotic episode or a religious epiphany; both descriptions work.

Dmonstrations fearlessly cross the musical threshold, throwing caution, their audience's ears and the need for critical acclaim deep into the San Diego sun. The result is an EP that will require patience from its listneners -- but what the group accomplishes in 13 minutes is, at the very least, weighty stuff. The modest length doesn't mean inferior quality. Bukowski says it best: genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.
- Splendid Magazine


I first met Tetsunori Tawaraya in mid-2001. He was new to the area, having just arrived from Tokyo, and was staying at an acquaintance’s house when I arrived to play some cards. He bombarded me with demands to teach him how to play. I acquiesced, teaching him the basics of poker, but, as it happened, he just kept betting all his money and kicking all our asses. The sheer joy and surprise on his face when he won erased any doubts I had that I was being hustled. As compensation for humiliating me, he drew this wild portrait of me that remains on my wall today.

I tell you this not to be anecdotal or nostalgic that I knew this guy way back when, but to illustrate a point about Tawaraya. Whatever he does, whether it’s art, playing guitar or whooping ass in cards, he does it balls-out and without a hint of pretense.

So here we are, years later discussing his band, The Dmonstrations, a trio that’s—simply put—loud. It’s rude, lewd, crude and genuinely socially unacceptable, but goddamnit if they don’t rock, much in the same way as The Locust and The Liars. You may not get it, but you’ll feel it. Tawaraya (who doubles on vocals) explains that, while he was in Tokyo, it was bands like The Locust that inspired him to come to San Diego.

“I love to see people go crazy on stage,” he says. “Some people pee on stage and nobody cares. It makes me feel like we can do anything.”

Along with bassist Nick Barnett and drummer Aaron Wade, The Dmonstrations, like their music, work constantly at mach-speed. They recorded an album six months after they formed (Wade describes the process as “one consistent week of being really drunk”), played shows incessantly, and even though Tawaraya lives in Tokyo half the year and Barnett now lives in Seattle, they still manage to keep the project alive. Wade has also been putting the final touches on his own studio in Santee, while Tawaraya is constantly pumping out new comic books and artwork that even David Lynch might find too surreal.

It would seem insane for anyone to keep up this kind of pace. At times you suspect that one of these guys has got to crash and burn, but Wade, as only he can, sums it up.

“We can be insane and it’s considered performance art!”

Tawaraya’s eyes light up, and you get the feeling they’ll be incorporating urine into their music any day now.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- San Diego City Beat


-s/t CDEP on Strictly Amateur Films
-comp track on (Gold Standard Labs)GSL's "Golden Grouper" CD
-7" single as part of (Gold Standard Labs)GSL's "Special 12" 7" series
-Split 12"/CD with AIDS wolf on Strictly Amateur Films and Lovepump United
-EP coming soon to SAF fall 2005...
-CD/LP coming to GSL(Gold Standard Labs) 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Not quite snotty enough to be dubbed a "punk" band, and not artsy enough to be considered "avant - garde", the band has no problems resting comfortably within the two genres. The opening track "silencer" gives the impression that this is going to be another lo - fi garagey record, but within the first 10 seconds the band dissolves that assumption with a full on sonic assault. Lyrical content of the songs span from freaking out, paranoia, breaking light speed, alternate means of hair cutting and reciting notes from grandma. The vocal patterns exhibited by Tetsunori Tawaraya range from operatic to shrieking. The Rhythym section provided but Nick Barnett and Aaron Wade are in serious need of some ritalin. DMONSTRATIONS deconstruct the formulaic approach of standard songwriting, but still maintain to have coherent rhythm and beats. Plain and simple, it is the sole intention of DMONSTRATIONS to vampireize the inhabitants of this tart blue - green marble which is called earth and spare no one at any expense. EMBRACE YR INNER DMON AND LET THIS BE THE SOUNDTRACK TO YR MENTAL BREAKDOWN.