PEELANDER-Z with CATL opening for the EXPLODERS at the El Mocambo, September 8. Tickets: $7. Attendance: 100. Rating: NNNN
arriving at the el mocambo andnot seeing booker Dan Burke with head in hands bitching about a border hassle could only mean one thing: he was staking out the "secret" Sloan show at the Power Plant in hopes of getting Mick Jagger on film for his upcoming Stones-at-the-El-Mo anniversary scheme. Don't ask.The Power Plant was a good bet. But if Jagger'd had any taste, he would've been at the El Mocambo checking out the Peelander-Z cartoon-punk comedy hour instead. And I've seen enough gigs to know that one that begins with audience members getting high-fived by the big rubber Mickey Mouse hand of a wigged Japanese dude dressed like a giant yellow M&M is bound to be entertaining.
The karate-kicking Kengoswee and his colour coordinated Peelander-Z crew didn't disappoint. Immediately after personally greeting everyone in the joint, M&M boy Kengoswee bounced back up onstage and tried booting his Gibson Explorer copy out of the hands of his wrestling-masked roadie, only to land ass-flat onstage with a painful-sounding thunk.
Such bone-cracking pratfalls were all part of the slapstick Peelander-Z action. It's a good thing, too, because apart from Kengoswee's intriguing haircut -- his head was shaved except for two furry tufts that looked like mouse ears -- there wasn't much in their repetitious thrash 'n' pound to hold the audience's attention.
Unshaken by the zany antics that preceded them, the Exploders confidently assumed control of the stage, turned up one louder and battered away with the Detroit-style wang-dang of their pummelling, just-released New Variations (Teenage USA) disc.
Maybe it was because their label bosses were standing at the back taking notes or guitarist Craig Daniels knew his mom was watching, but the Exploders blew fire from start to finish. If they keep that up, these knuckleheads will be celebrities in Sweden before the next lingonberry harvest.