In the Winter of 2002 an American hardcore punk guy named Ryan Lewis (of the Cease Upon The Capitol fame), found himself studying in Japan but instead of experiencing the cultural shock in the traditional way, what happened to him is that he was totally fascinated by the diversity and passion emanating from the local underground scene.
Small shows in live studios, DIY tapes, vinyls and CDs of totally unheard emo/screamo bands, and seeing pre-“Dead Sinking Story” Envy was just enough for him to fell in love with the screamo scene in Japan. Back home in Nashville, Tennessee, he started his own DIY punk label called I’ve Come To Your Children and continued his musical endeavors as a drummer of the amazing Cease Upon The Capitol and singer/guitar player of Sanctions.
Fast forward to 2008 his label was already dead, Cease Upon The Capitol was also deceased but Sanctions was going to release their first CD. It was the time for Ryan to come up with a new record label and satisfy his cravings for spreading out the sounds of the completely obscure Japanese screamo scene he had experienced in the past. The first release of the newly created MeatCubeLabel was Gauge Means Nothing’s “The Absent Trail Of An Echo And My Future Plagued By Surrender” LP—the posthumous full-length release of this incredible screamo band from Tokyo, active between 1997 and 2005.
Then in 2011 Ryan moved to Seattle and MeatCube was already an established label with numerous releases in its catalogue, at that time he also started his blog about defunct bands and out-of-print Japanese records. The next milestones for the label were 2012 with the release of the 5-Way Split Tape of Japanese bands (Blue Friend, From Ten To Nine, Cofun, Kanataharuka, and None But Air), and 2013 when MeatCube released their first Japanese screamo compilation called “Beneath The Same Sky Vol.1” featuring 10 songs by 10 different bands, including a great zine full of reviews, gig reports, band photos and best of records. Next on the list were the posthumous discography of Osaka’s Stubborn Father and the double cassette discography of Ryan’s own band Cease Upon The Capitol.
Tetola93 appeared as the first band in the “Beneath The Same Sky” compilation that I mentioned above. The band was formed in 2004 in Ashikaga City, Japan, and their frenetic style of emo-violence is absolutely fascinating. They’ve split up in the middle of 2013 but their legacy was released almost a year later in June 2014 to collect both re-recordings of their older material and newer stuff written in their most recent years of existence. The album was recorded entirely by the band themselves, according to the rule book of obscure DIY skramz. Combined altogether we have 14 tracks of short, chaotic, rough, spasmodic and rigid noise outbursts accompanied by vague melodies that could be compared with the passionate intensity of my all time favorite band Orchid and the nebulous sound of Tokyo’s epic emo-violence Killie.
Unlike some other records of the MeatCube’s DIY galore released only on CD or cassette tape, tetola93 comes on 12″ vinyl in collaboration with Canada’s Zegema Beach Records and includes a lyrics sheet insert plus download card sealed in a printed envelope, nicely packaged in a full-color jacket printed on recycled chipboard.