Peelander-Z, Anamanaguchi, Velva, Kkrusty | Reggie's Rock Club | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Peelander-Z, Anamanaguchi, Velva, Kkrusty Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Thu., April 14, 7 p.m. 2011

You won't get a feel for NYC-based Japanese punk trio Peelander-Z just by listening to last year's P-TV-Z (Chicken Ranch). It's straightforward, fairly unremarkable three-chord rawk, a little like the Ramones if the Ramones had formed after absorbing two decades of punk and hardcore—and if they'd written songs about ninja high school and fighting cavities. The simple sugar-high tunes, almost bratty in their shout-along exuberance, can feel gimmicky on record, but they come alive when Peelander-Z take the stage. Dressed in the bright costumes of superheroes or backyard wrestlers—one color per, as in "Peelander Yellow"—they bounce and holler and just generally freak out, directing all manner of audience-participation foolishness with the help of big hand-lettered signs. They might battle a guitar-squid monster or lead a limbo dance, and sometimes they even let people from the crowd play their instruments while they put on a skit. During the tune "So Many Mike" the Peelanders try to get everyone in the room named Mike to come onstage, and in their games of "human bowling," the aforementioned squid and any sufficiently bold audience members (often given a bowling-pin outfit) throw themselves at a spread of real pins with boardwalk-carnival flair. The music can feel subservient to the zaniness, but its enthusiasm and energy are what give the whole jamboree its infectious charge of joyful brainlessness. —Leor Galil

Price: $12, $10 in advance; 17+

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