Peelander-Z – P-Pop-High School

Artist: Peelander-Z
Album: P-Pop High School
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: Eat Rice

1. P-Pop-High Schoool
2. Let’s Go! Karaoke Party!
3. Beautiful Sundae
4. Handsome
5. Panda-III 
6. Pillow Pillow 
7. Learn Japanese 
8. Duct Tape
9. Give Me Your Smile 
10. Super Health 
11.  Autograph
12. Pho!
13. P-Zombie-Z
14. So Many Mike
15. Ninja-High School

How can you not enjoy bands with themes? Whether it’s the Aquabats sporting matching superhero jumpsuits or GWAR posing as aliens (and oftentimes mass executioners), concerts like that become a dual threat of musical fun and staged antics. That’s where Peelander-Z comes in, the costumed punk band from Japan, but based in New York. However, don’t let that Wikipedia knowledge fool you. The three members of the band, Peelander Yellow, Red and Green, are actually from the “Z region on Planet Peelander,” wherever that may be. Regardless of their location, the trio is back with P-Pop-High School, their latest offering in what has been a surprisingly lengthy career.

Right from the get-go, the music of Peelander-Z will whisk you away to any strange Japanese TV game show you may have seen on G4. (Perhaps Peelander-Z is a play on the classic Japanese series Dragonball Z they used to show on Toonami when I was like 8? Ahh, good times) If anyone has watched these aforementioned game shows, the Japanese have a knack for silly, slapstick humor that is present on P-Pop. The band plays short, fast paced punk rock songs that all sound like they were modeled after “Blitzkrieg Bop,” with shouted chants and repeated lyrics that urge you to sing “Oi! Oi! Oi!” in the traditional punk fashion. Peelander Yellow and Red, the guitarist and bassist, respectively, do the singing. Their half-grunt voices that chant repeated lyrics only make me wonder: is this what they actually sound like, or perhaps it is a purposely bad imitation of the crazy announcers on “Ninja Warrior”?

The song structures are pretty simple, designed to be sung to. The content of the song doesn’t really give more meaning to the name of the song. For example, “Learn Japanese” has the band shouting out Japanese translations to English sayings, in between the chorus of “LEARN JAPANESE! LEARN JAPANESE!” The song “So Many Mike” is basically the band expressing their confusion with knowing too many Mikes. All of the songs are rousing punk songs, with the exception of the “ballad” “Give Me Your Smile,” which has Peelander Yellow playing some quiet chords while telling the crowd, “Thank you for coming to see my show…don’t forget to bring your mom down next time,” in what is one of the more, uhh, intimate moments on the album.

There isn’t much else for me to reveal to you about the wonder that is Peelander-Z. They keep the formula simple: The songs are simple, catchy and fun to sing along to. The only problem is that this is a good formula for their live show. The album may get a little repetitive after awhile even though the songs remain relatively short, and it really doesn’t have that much replay value, except for some of the funnier songs. But on the other hand, Peelander-Z has jumped up on my list of bands to see live. Does anyone have tickets?

*Written By: Jacob Kanclerz*
Score: 7.5/10

James Shotwell
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3 Responses to “Peelander-Z – P-Pop-High School”

  1. Nicole says:

    I can tell I did not read this before you sent it in. I liked it though.

  2. mark says:

    I want to say – thank you for this!

  3. Carroll B. Merriman says:

    hmmm… I disagree with you.