Whew! SXSW really kicked our asses this year. Too much free beer, not enough free tacos. That dumpster behind the Scoot Inn will carry a little piece of Jake with it forever.

Still, we managed to see a lot of bands, both weird and non-weird, including one we’ve been hearing about for awhile now: Peelander-Z, a self-styled “Japanese action comic punk band” who we always kinda dismissed as a Japanese version of the Aquabats. And while it’s true that the whole costumed punk-band thing isn’t exactly original, we still came away pretty impressed with how much creativity and manic energy these guys bring to what they do. You will not go to a Peelander-Z show and be bored. On that you can rely.

The core members of Peelander-Z wear conveniently color-coded outfits and look sort of like a cross between the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the Sex Pistols. As you can probably guess, they’re called Peelander Yellow, Peelander Red and Peelander Green. There used to be a Peelander Blue, but he quit—or, as the band likes to say, he had to return to the band’s home planet (they’re all from the planet Peelander, natch). There’s also a Peelander Black who plays some guitar, a Peelander Pink who’s basically just a cheerleader, and a dude in a weird squid costume who sometimes shows up so the audience can go squid bowling. Did we already mention that you won’t be bored at a Peelander-Z show? It’s true.

To give you an idea of the silliness that is Peelander-Z, here’s the video to their song “Ninja-High Schooool.” Imagine the Ramones’ “Rock & Roll High School” crossed with “Godzilla vs. Mothra.” Yes, it’s that awesome.


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