Sunday, January 24, 2010
The Dynamite Masters Blues Quartet (or, much more commonly, DMBQ) are quite possibly the finest live act I've ever had the privilege of experiencing - A chaotic, violent, psychedelic circus of distortion and bodily contortion which often ends in blood, lots of spilled booze, and a whole shitload of blown eardrums. DMBQ are regarded as rock stars in their homeland of Japan, but usually play small clubs or even basement parties when they tour the U.S.
Until I saw these guys live, I had never witnessed a drummer crowdsurfing - while still playing their kit. I had never seen a kick drum fly across a venue and bash a hipster in the face. I had never seen a bass player climb a wall and finish a song from the balcony. DMBQ changed all that.
The band has existed for 15 years, touring extensively and releasing a slew of eclectic and varied albums. In 2005, they were involved in a horrible accident on the New Jersey turnpike which killed their second drummer, Yuka "China" Yoshimura. My friend Michelle (who was booking their tour) was in the van as well, and despite her injuries convalesced and now runs her agency Panache Booking out of NYC. Although they were devastated by China's death, DMBQ carried on as well, recruiting the amazing maelstrom known as Shinji Wada from King Brothers to take her place.
The DMBQ sound has changed quite a bit over the years, and they are undoubtedly at their best in modern times. If you've never had the experience, I can give no higher recommendation for a live concert. Keep an eye out for them on their next tour.
FABLE OF THINNER LEMON (1998)
The band started out playing a much more Boredoms-esque
style of experimental rock and roll, as evidenced by this early full-length. Fable is full of repetitive grooves, which run from droning to funky. An assortment of strange noises, gibbering dialogue, and buzzing weirdness run over the top of the whole thing, and at one point the music stops completely as we are treated to an audio clip of someone walking down a hallway, taking a piss, and flushing the toilet. But the entire package remains an interesting and engaging listen, urination clips be damned.
Japanophiles and noise rockers alike will dig this one.
ESOTERIC BLACK HAIR (2004)
Black Hair finds DMBQ much closer to their modern form, rocking really hard and fast and stripping away the experimental pretense in favor of pure lo-fi debauchery. This recording is much more analogous to their live show, as was their 2005 release Essential Sounds From The Far East (buy it here).
Word has it that a new DMBQ album (titled The Cold One) is coming soon...
Old DMBQ Myspace
Official (if minimal) website
DMBQ live at 12 Galaxies, San Francisco, 2007. This was an amazing show, video courtesy of my Bro Kevin:
The drum thing:
Posted by Shelby Cobras at 4:09 PM