Hell, I was born and raised and still live in California — and never far from a beach, either. I’ve been listening to surf music, whether the Beach Boys or Dick Dale or the Ventures, since I was six or seven. So when I first heard a few licks from Daikaiju, this freakin’ psycho-surf Kabuki band, a few weeks ago on Escape Pod, I just had to get me some more. And I did.
For the uninitiated (i.e., folks unfamiliar with fine Japanese films like Godzilla and Gamera), “daikaiju” is Japanese for “giant monster.” The Daikaiju band members — from Huntsville, Alabama, of all places — hide their identities behind Kabuki masks. Their press releases are made up of fake Japanese-to-English translations: “Who is the Daikaiju? Kabuki men deliver most high rocket music. Special reverb skill combo for full impact! Loud Roken-Roll for earful pleasure! Worship Psycho-surf band Daikaiju daily for good luck and health!” And their first full-length, 10-track album, self-titled Daikaiju, has been stuck on my Accord’s CD-changer for the past week.
There isn’t a bad track on this entire album, and it races by at such a high velocity that I’ve been immediately clicking back to the opening track as soon as I hear the extraordinary last cut, “Farewell to Monster Island,” reach its end. I just can’t get enough of this stuff.
And I love the titles of these tunes: “Attack of the Crab Women," “Showdown in Shinjuku,” “The Daikaiju who Loved Me,” and my absolute favorite, “The Trouble with those Mothra Girls.”
I betcha thought surf music was dead. Nope.
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