TAKASHI, Kamikaze Killers (1983, Mongol Horde)
Third horny skull in a row for this friar, and those two pointy accoutrements are all that’s unique to this very basic skull face. It’s cast in a mold of solid steel, which might have been Takashi anticipating demand for mass-produced Takashi skull masks to sell at their sold out arenas shows around the globe. Or maybe a tribute to Han Solo’s rather unfortunate fate in that second Star Wars movie. (Or if you want to get all nerdy on me and correct me, “uh, that’s the fifth Star Wars movie.” Fine.)
Alas, Takashi didn’t quite have the goods to make it to the world’s biggest metal venues, but their music sure aspired to look and sound like big boys like Ratt and Motley Crue — with a bit of a harder edged sound. Not quite Omen or even Armored Saint, but they certainly wouldn’t have been out of place on the first Metal Massacre comp. Maybe a bit like Odin’s earliest stuff? Yeah, that works. All those California band references, even though Takashi hailed from New York City. Sure doesn’t sound like it. Adding to that, and typical of the era (unfortunately), the vocalist sounds like Vince Neil. This four-song EP was the band’s only release, and I don’t regret never picking it up in record stores first time around. Other than the $ I could probably flip it for these days.
— Friar Wagner