I have friends who’ve been trying to coax me to Peelander-Z shows for years, and something’s always gotten in the way. Nothing intentional. So, when this DVD came across my desk, I gave it a shot. Sorry to say, this just isn’t for me. It’s just too… zany? But that’s not it because I like The Dickies and Toy Dolls and they’re plenty zany. It’s just too… PG zany? That may be more it. It’s a little irritating when they bleep out swear words (some in Japanese so who at the Place Where PG Ratings For DVDs would know?). I’d have to admit that some of the funniest parts of Arrested Development are well-placed bleeps. So, okay, it’s a bit of the PG zaniness that gives it a New Zoo Review feel. But that’s not quite it, either. Maybe it’s the shtick. They dress up, roughly, like The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and have a lot of crowd interaction…. Nope, that’s not it, either. I like Gwar, Blöödhag, and Man…Or Asto Man? Hey, go back a bit. Gwar. It has something to do with Gwar. Gwar live was great—goo everywhere—but, excepting a track or two, Gwar’s recorded catalog was way more hit than miss (although, if given time, I could sing along to most of This Toilet Earth). Peelander Z… I think I’ve got it. To me, they always sound like they’re running up to, or just coming down from, a great part of a song, like it’s a ten-minute preamble or a ten-minute wind-down, but it’s never the “fuck yeah” part of it. It’s like I’m always coming in the middle of songs. In other words, they’re the type of band I’ll only tolerate if I’m forced to: a jam band. Granted, they’re without the hippie stink and without the hacky sack action in the back of the crowd, but it’s still the same feel, no matter how much yellow latex the lead guy’s wearing.
Shit, man, I feel like a jerk. People really seem to like these guys. The band themselves seem happy and harmless and totally into what they’re doing. I just don’t want to watch them live on a DVD—or watch them load and unload their van—even if it is in fast forward and they’re karate chopping and stuff. Sorry. –Todd (www.peelander-z.com)