It’s kind of hard to make fun of metal anymore; it’s been a self-parody for years. But that’s no impediment to the infamous Peelander-Z, a New York based band of Japanese musicians and performance artists. This is Album Number Eight for the boys and I suspect this band is one you want to see live rather than just listen to from your stereo. I’ve not experienced a Peelander-Z concert, but the press release and on-line comments sound like it would be a fun piece of musical theater / performance art. What I do have is the current album “Metalander-Z,”a ten track collection that samples a bit of everyone from David Lee Roth (“Ride on the Shooting Star”) to Lemmy (“Killer Thunder”) to Uriah Heep (“Alphabet”). The parodies are top notch, and the playing is rock steady solid with appropriate vocals and I can’t say there’s a flaw here except to say this is a continuation of what has gone before, and not a press forward into new territory.
Still, I’ve enjoyed the experience, there’s a great level of energy in this project and unlike so many metal bands, I can hear the lyrics. While metal lyrics aren’t the best lyrics in the world, most of them drip with dark humor and irony and Peelander-Z captures that aspect perfectly. This is not the best metal album I’ve heard, but it’s a strong incentive to chase down a live preface and catch the stage show.