I toured Japan for the first time in 1996, as a (mediocre) replacement bassist for ALL YOU CAN EAT. Most of the tour was supporting GARLIC BOYS and NUNCHAKU in mid sized venues, which only compounded the total sensory overload I was experiencing, but there were a handful of smaller shows aside from that tour (if memory serves, the first Japanese show I played was in Nagoya with OUT OF TOUCH, CFDL, FLASH GORDON and CIGARETTEMAN, but Devon can correct me because while my memory typically does serve me, but does so rather poorly). And as out of place as our band of leaping pop punk misfits was on a blistering thrashcore show in Nagoya, we were just as awkward the following week at Nishi-Ogikobu's Watts live house sharing that tiny stage with SUPERSNAZZ and fOUL (that's the connection between my trip down memory lane and today's post). A melancholy jaunt, 1996's A Foulful Of... perfectly harnesses the hooks early '90s acts like TEENAGE FANCLUB and PAVEMENT then twists them and builds on them (instead of simply re-presenting them). "Opportunity" is clearly the hit, while the 11 minute "Apocalypse" is as sparse and wistful as a band can possibly be. fOUL cranked out two more records after this one (and an excellent split with BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS), and all are work seeking out - but as much as this tape brings back memories, these sounds just reinforce the difference between honest, soul baring music and attempts to simply manufacture a sound.