Monday, September 14, 2009

Electric Eel Shock 'Sugoi Indeed'

Electric Eel Shock stays metal, man


Friday, Sept. 11, 2009


Special to The Japan Times

'I am 'Metal Man,' " states Akihito Morimoto matter-of-factly. "I love heavy metal, and I also studied metal materials and die-cast manufacture at university. So all my life is about metal."

At the live shows of his band Electric Eel Shock, it shows. Coming on stage 150 times a year to their own twisted, tortured version of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," guitar-vocalist Morimoto and chums Kazuto Maekawa (bass, gurning) and Tomoharu "Gian" Ito (drums, nudity) rock up a sweat, blasting out tight, powerful metal with a fistful of Osaka humor.

Over 10 years of almost constant touring, the band have become one of Japan's best-known musical exports, playing at venues and festivals all over the U.S. and Europe. It's not only their staggering stage show that has earned them a reputation — though watching Morimoto lurch around the stage with his Flying V guitar in his mouth before calling everyone in the audience "bastards" while Gian, wearing nothing but a strategically placed sock, whacks his kit with four sticks and Maekawa lurches into the crowd certainly has its charms. No, it is also the members' unfailing belief in the power of metal, which has seen their albums grow increasingly essential despite their low-budget recording.

Their sixth album, "Sugoi Indeed," is their best to date, a short but sweet bundle of power chords, guitar solos and fierce rhythms. Its songs feature lyrics in English (which Morimoto, with his limited vocabulary, describes as "difficult") and Japanese, and include the aforementioned "Metal Man" as well as garage-rocker "Out Of Control" ("The song's character thinks he loves his girlfriend, but really he just loves thinking of himself as a caring lover," explains Morimoto) and the dark "More," whose chorus contains a subtle warning against wasting food ( "More! More! More! It's gross!").


Here is their latest release 'Out of Control' from "Sugoi Indeed":

Note: Having seen this band once before, I can't wait to get their new album. Also check out their awesome video: Electric Eel Shock - Rock & Roll Can Rescue The World

And be sure to visit their official website: Electric Eel Shock

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