You wanna hear some Japanese rock? You wanna hear the underground stuff, none of this Puffy Ami-Yumi fluff? Then this compilation is what you’ve been waiting for. And who better to uncover these gems than Peelander-Yellow of the infamous comic book samurai noodle punk band, Peelander-Z?! These personally-selected tracks range from garage to pop-punk, experimental to straight-up rock’n’roll, and are sure to please fans of J-punk and those not as familiar with this scene. Featuring tracks from the wild boys of Electric Eel Shock and The Birthday Suits to the sassy ladies of The Prambath and Portugal Japan, this comp will hit you like wasabi peas and go down smooth like some warm sake.
Despite releasing material by moderately well-known punk bands like Enemy You, Intro5pect, and Toys That Kill, Geykido Comet (or GC) Records has remained one of the best-hidden secrets in punk rock. In fact, when I first ran across “GC Records” on Punkvoter.com in 2004, I wrote them off due to some phantom association with Good Charlotte. Now that may have been just because I was young and stubborn, but it may have had something to do with the highly esoteric nature of their releases. Case in point, Teriyaki Suplexxx: A 2007 Snapshot of the Japanese Underground. As the name implies, the probability that even a well-versed North American punker has heard of a single band on this 22-song compilation is slim (despite the fact that a number of the Japanese bands are based in Europe, Australia, and the U.S.!). Bands like Rocket Jack Vaders, Space Kung-Fu Man, Coloba Milk Bar and Electric Eel Shock populate the diverse collection that spans across multiple styles and genres. Female-fronted pop-punk dominates the first few songs, with London’s Mika Bomb chopping together the catchy ‘n’ cute “Shut Ya Mouth.” The highly repetitive “Bastard” by Electric Eel Shock follows, with a dance-rock beat and enough zip-zapping sound effects to make pushing the skip button a tough sell. Australia’s Mach Pelican deliver far and away the catchiest song on the comp, as their Ramones-influenced pop-punk is the perfect concoction of hooks and air guitar-inspiring riffs. The aforementioned Coloba Milk Bar imparts the funky bass and scratchy power chords of the Minutemen, while Dynamite Club speeds through the 46 seconds of “12 Questions for the Psychadelically Impaired” with abnormal timing and battling dual vocals. With the spazz-out instrumentalism of Mong Hang’s “Og A Rachue Po,” Teriyaki Suplexxx seems to hit the very bottom depths of the proverbial “Japanese underground.” The electro-pop of Jean Paul Yamamoto’s Lolita widens the chasm, possibly overshooting the album’s target (or at least inevitably punk-based) audience. The most unfortunate track — though one of the best musically — is the 2005 song “Twin Cities Bridges Are Falling” by Minneapolis’ Birthday Suits, which could not have gained exposure at a worse time. While the 2004 me would have dismissed such an obscure release as Teriyaki Suplexxx for not having the eye-catching names of established acts, the 2007 me is excited to discover new music in the form of Japanese artists like Mach Pelican, Jet Boys, and Mika Bomb. Sure, it may take a couple more listens to get into than the Bouncing Souls or Lifetime, but it will be that much more rewarding to find a new beloved band in an unexpected place.
Twenty-two band Japanese comp compiled by one of the members of the band Peelander-Z. Out of the twenty-two bands on here, I recognize one and that was Peelander-Z. So if you are not heavily infatuated in Japanese bands that are basically underground, you probably won’t recognize a single band. The comp seems to focus primarily on pop punk, garage, and noise. A lot of bands here feature female vocalists. There is also a hip hop track on here. So, if you are looking for your new Japanese band to be obsessed with and the music presented here is one of interest, this comp is worth a purchase and a good, hard listen.
(Donofthedead) Razorcake, Issue #40, September/October 2007