Psychoholic Slag

Without a doubt (at least in my sonically culture-rotted brain) the most kickin’ ass band in Japan has got to be Thee Michelle Gun Elephant (or TMGE; available on WinKaMorMx Records, if you catch my drift). I first heard these guys a few months after arriving in Miyazaki in the spring of ’98; it struck me that, all the time I had been here, I had no clue about any Japanese music (well, I guess I still don’t, really). Anyway, being the cheap, pirating, cd-copying curse to the Recording Industry that I am, I decided to go to the cd rental shop around the corner from my place (if Japan is anything, it’s *convenient* –hell, you can drink until 6am and then pick up a bottle of Jack, a pack of smokes, breakfast, and a porno mag at the 7/11 around the corner from your place on your way home). To be honest, I didn’t like most of the stuff I heard (not hard and heavy enough), but from the opening notes of Gear Blues’ opening track, West Cabaret Drive, I knew that TMGE was the real deal. Their sound is pretty easy to describe actually: imagine that the Stooges, MC5, and Dr. Feelgood are Japanese. OK? Now imagine that they all go to the beach for a night of wild debauchery unparalleled in the annals of rock history (use your imagination!); they wake up the next day with massive hangovers (these, probably only I can imagine) and in a really bad mood, and decide to form a garage supergroup that sometimes sings in English, sometimes in Japanese. There you have it! TMGE calls their sound “Monster R&B,” and it is. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

Google (Japanese and English results)
Google (English only)
A review in Creem
Sabrina Heaven (Japanese)
An article on Big in Japan
Gear Blues and Bio


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