Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thee Michelle Gun Elephant

For some reason, I'd never heard of these Japanese guys before I moved to Taiwan in 2000. I discovered this band via an American punk internet messageboard. Wikipedia states they're a famous and influential band yet in New Zealand, they're unknowns compared to The Boredoms, The 5-6-7-8's (who suck live), Guitar Wolf or Shonen Knife. I'd rather see these guys live than any of the previously mentioned Japanese bands. I only own an Asian singles compilation CD and a live and video DVD (which I picked up in Taiwan for 50 NT (appr0x $2.50 NZ). The band's name comes from combining a mispronunciation of a Damned and Headcoats album. Thee Michelle Gun Elephant released nine albums from 1996 - 2003. The band were influenced by The Stooges, Iggy, Clash, The Damned and The Addicts. This band were huge in Japan. Witness the size of the crowd in the youtube clip. The main feature of this band are their loud guitar sound and gruff yet melodic vocals. The 'Smokin' Billy' song below is a good example and if you like this and see one of their albums up for sale snap it up straight away.

The lyrical combination of English and Japanese is common in a number of TMGE's songs.

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