Peelander-Z are not an easy band to describe. They refer to themselves as “Japanese Action Comic Punk hailing from the Z area of planet Peelander.” That says more about their persona than their sound, and I’ll come back to that. Stylistically, the band plays a pretty no-frills, fast, high-energy old school flavor of punk rock. Their music is a lot of fun and it’s solidly entertaining, if not really boundary-pushing. The music isn’t the reason you HAVE to check out a Peelander-Z show though; it’s the show. Imagine one part Aquabats (and perhaps a bit of their brainchild Yo Gabba Gabba!), one part Power Rangers, and one part anime, blend that together, feed it some speed and and take it to the weirdest Halloween party you’ve ever been to and you’ve got the basic idea of a Peelander-Z show. The band performs in costume and in character, with an infectious energy and downright bizarre presence. They’re fun, hyperactive, engaging, and even for fans and non-fans of their music alike, their performance is an undeniable and unparalleled rush that’s impossible not to love.
Videos just don’t do the experience justice, but here’s a taste of what you can expect tonight:
Though the members of Peelander-Z were all born in Japan, the band formed in New York. By contrast, tourmates Electric Eel Shock formed and are still based in Tokyo. The trio first gained recognition in America during the garage rock revival of the early ’00s and have toured worldwide pretty much nonstop ever since. Unlike Peelander-Z, Electric Eel Shock are known for the strength of their music rather than specifically for their performance. They are a talented and energetic live band in their own right, however, and over a decade of nonstop touring has shaped Electric Eel Shock into a tight and, well, electric live band. Their performance will just feature markedly less costumes and alien puppets. Electric Eel Shock plays a mesh of punk, metal (of the Black Sabbath variety), and rock, distilled into a very raw, garage aesthetic. They’re not as flashy as their tourmates, but they’re sure to be just as much fun.
Opening the show is Nashville’s own The Joy of Painting, who recently released a new EP entitled Lighten Up on their BandCamp. The garage-pop quintet will provide a nice melodic counterbalance that should perfectly compliment the show.
Peelander-Z, Electric Eel Shock, and The Joy of Painting are performing tonight at Mercy Lounge. The show starts at 9PM (doors at 8PM) and tickets are still available here.