“Action Comic Punk Band” Peelander-Z can now amend that description of its sound to “Action Comic Metal Band.” This Brooklyn-by-way-of-Japan-by-way-of-planet-Peelander foursome will release its eighth studio album Metalander-Z on September 10th, 2013 via Austin’s Chicken Ranch Records and nothing will ever be the same.
Referencing the glory days of hair metal’s reign, Peelander-Z, and the band’s team of sonic engineers, read hundreds of gear reviews and blogs, and started collecting era-appropriate guitar gear to construct an album that is both completely of its time and completely timeless. Some of the albums that inspired Metalander-Z include AC/DC’s High Voltage, Cinderella’s Night Songs, Def Leppard’s Pyromania, Iron Maiden’s Number of The Beast, Motley Crue’s Too Fast For Love, Van Halen’s 1984, and ZZ Top’s Eliminator.
What does Peelander-Z leader Peelander-Yellow have to say about the reasoning behind this turn in the band’s sound? Simply stated: “For beautiful hair metals!!!” And, really, that’s really all anybody needs to know. None-the-less, album producer Bryan Nelson elaborates, explaining, “We had several meetings about the terminology of ‘metal.’ I’m sure many metal enthusiasts would have argued with our meanings, but we came up with our own language. Terms such as ‘Eighties Fun-Rock’ for Van Halen, ‘Heavy’ for Iron Maiden, and ‘Ballad’ for Cinderella. Then we’d mix the three genres, throwing in terms like ‘More Sepultura,’ or ‘More Conan The Barbarian.’”
Before recording began, Peelander-Z spent lots of time listening to early 80’s artists, and discussing the way the records made them feel. Many of those records, such as Motley Crue’s first album Too Fast For Love, sounded lacking in a critical listening environment, but the feeling that the songs gave the band was undeniably awesome.
“We did tons of research on how many of these influential records were recorded,” explains album engineer Chico Jones. “The only era-specific items we didn’t manage to get in the studio were hookers and blow, and I blame the producer for that.”
“Our mission was to capture not only the sounds of the Eighties, but the feeling as well,” says blame-recipient, Nelson. Luckily, Peelander-Z was able to snag one of Japan’s best metal guitarists to join the Metalander-Z recording sessions and make that happen. “Aki Morimoto of Electric Eel Shock did so much for this recording,” Nelson says. Peelander-Z touring member Peelander-Black’s guitar work is also in the mix, providing a loose, jagged, textural-post-rock sound that contrasts Morimoto’s more standard straight forward shredding.
Ultimately, for all of its fun and funny aspects, Metalander-Z is an expertly composed love letter to the era, a skill that Peelander-Z is quite adept at.
“I always marvel at Peelander’s ability to distill a genre of music down to its most fun essence,” says Chicken Ranch Records honcho Mike Dickinson. “They have done it again with this album. As always, Yellow brings crazy ideas to the table that make the songs memorable and a totally entertaining listen.”
Metalander-Z’s lead single is “Ride On The Shooting Star,” which is described as an uplifting, coming-of-age, “get-the-girl” song. Other songs on the album include “Heavy Snake,” inspired by a torture scene in “Conan The Barbarian,” “I Got Fired,” about the time Peelander-Yellow thought his boss complimented him by telling him he was “fire” until Peelander-Pink informed him otherwise, and “My Shake,” Peelander-Yellow’s song about his love of milkshakes, captured live at a performance in Rio in front of a crowd of 900,000 fans.
Peelander–Z has appeared at major music festivals including Bonnaroo and the Vans Warped Tour and has also been featured on TV programs such as VH1’s “Best Week Ever” and Comedy Central’s “Upright Citizens Brigade.” The band has also been covered by Rolling Stone, NPR, Village Voice, SPIN, Paper, and The Onion among many others. See Peelander-Z on tour in support of Metalander-Z this fall.