Review Exclusive

ASP - ANAL SEX PENiS

18/10/2021 2021-10-18 02:00:00 JaME Author: ChrisN

ASP - ANAL SEX PENiS

More wacky WACK antics?


© WACK, Inc. All rights reserved.
Album CD

ANAL SEX PENiS

ASP

You couldn’t help yourself could you? You knew it was puerile nonsense the second you saw the title, but you clicked anyway. Which is entirely the point of Junnosuke Watanabe’s guerrilla approach to marketing his WACK acts. Japan still has a lot to learn when it comes to creative swearing.  In a land where using an excessively polite honorific is considered a stinging insult, it falls to good old fashioned Anglo-Saxon invective to deliver the required impact. It’s not exactly an original idea plucked from Watanabe’s bag of tricks. The WACK back-catalogue is peppered with scatologically titled tracks like S.H.I.T, WACK is SHiT and IDOL is SHIT to name just a few examples of Watanabe’s colourful grasp of the English language.

ASP (yes, it stands for ANAL SEX PENiS) are the latest addition to the ranks of WACK’s roster of idol groups. They were introduced to the world at the 2021 edition of the annual game show/assault course/torture chamber that is WACK AUDiTiON CAMP. The group’s four members stood wrapped from head to toe in black rubber, like a gimp’s Christmas present. Once the usual WACK shenanigans of racking up the requisite number of Twitter followers was completed, the members' identities were revealed; Yumeka Naukana?, formerly of disbanded WACK group CARRY LOOSE and Idol Renaissance, Nayu who had previously been part of the WACK trainee program WAgg, and newcomers Mog Ryan and Namaenai (Nameless).

So, has the WACK Svengali Watanabe finally gone off the deep end? Are we witnessing the birth of a new musical genre, the hentai idol, ready to assault their audience with songs about bondage, lube and all sorts of perverted misbehaviour?

Well, no. Not really. The most NSFW thing about ANAL SEX PENiS is trying to find it on the internet, in which case you’ll need to pour bleach all over your search results. Watanabe may be many things, some would say capricious, callous and controversial, but he also likes money, so the chances of anything truly shocking happening behind the shock tactic title were always minimal. That’s not to say the whole project is a bait and switch job. Watanabe wants to recapture something from the crazy days of first generation BiS, whose antics really were an outrage to Japan’s anodyne idol scene at the time.  As WACK acts have become more mainstream and their live performances slick, shiny arena productions, he has admitted that he longs for the sweaty, heaving, stage-diving crowds that are strictly verboten at WACK shows these days, and it seems he’s decided that ASP are the group to recreate that. When we’ll ever see that sort boisterous crowd action again in the current age of bat flu restrictions is another question altogether though.

For all the Edward Scissorhands bondage chic and rude words, ASP aren’t a huge departure for WACK. All 13 ANAL SEX PENiS tracks are written by Kenta Matsukuma, the prolific songwriter who churns out songs for WACK groups on an almost industrial scale. So, while ASP are striving for a punkier edge, that familiar ‘Kentacore’ sound that we get from the likes of BiSH and EMPiRE keeps popping up throughout the album.  The lyrics are more of a team game with Watanabe contributing under his JsXsK song-writing moniker and Yumeka Naukana?, Nayu and Mog Ryan chipping in too. There’s a little darkness to ASP, with a dash of self-loathing thrown in but with a song like WARRiES and its “I hate studying” refrain, they come across more like stroppy high school girls than deviant, domineering sex vixens, which is perhaps what the target market demographic would prefer anyway.

The album starts of promisingly enough, the opener HAiKEi ROCKSTARSAMA buzzes with fat, fuzzy distorted guitars banging away at a helter-skelter pace, and it looks like ASP are onto something before A Song of Punk comes along and pours cold water on the idea that ASP are really pushing at the edge. It’s the least punk thing you’ll hear this side of 1977. ANAL SEX PENiS is a bit of a mixed bag that way.  There’s a generous helping of upbeat, spiky garage punk tunes like HiGAiSHABURANA, GO STRAiGHT and TRUST MYSELF, and they mix it up a bit with NOW or NEVER, which has a dab of Red Hot Chilli Peppers in it, and BE MY FRiEND, which is the sort of thing that MelonBatake a go go do much better. But then there are a few that plant themselves firmly in the middle of the road. We’re looking at you, The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The pick of the bunch is Sakebe, which is precisely the same sound that has propelled BiSH to mainstream success. It feels like a curious combination of playing it safe, appealing to an established WACK fanbase, yet trying to be edgy and hint at past glories, with the music video’s artfully obscured nudity echoing My Ixxx and BiS scampering around Aokigahara (the Suicide Forest) buck naked way back in 2011.


The success of an idol group is not just down to the strength of song-writing, it hangs as much on the appeal of the idols themselves. ASP is made up of competent performers and they all put in decent, if unexceptional, vocal performances. The WACK audition process might be a ridiculous nightmare but it does at least weed out those hopefuls who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Although Watanabe gave Namaenai a free pass to join ASP, figuring she wouldn’t make it through the audition, so make of that what you will. The question is, do ASP have the personalities to push live crowds to the sort of response Watanabe is looking for? 

While ANAL SEX PENiS is an entertaining enough collection of thrashy pop punk, it’s liberally sprinkled with songs that hold everything back from being anything close to outrageous and overall, it feels like a missed opportunity. It’s not like Kenta Matsukuma hasn’t got it in his locker to cut loose, but there’s nothing here as nihilistic and in your face as his BiSH tracks SHARR or Tsui ni Shi.

If you’re going to announce yourself to the world by waving ANAL SEX PENiS in everybody’s face, you need to back it up. They might look a bit punk but ASP are like a high school girl who’s borrowed her big sister’s safety pin studded leather jacket while she’s away at college. Maybe they’ll grow into it one day.
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