Peelander – Z invades Toledo

Peelander – Z invades Toledo

Friday, 13 November 2015

Peelander – Z invades Toledo’s Frankie’s Inner City Club with Ego and the Maniacs, The Wanna Bees, and Snarly

An evening filled with monsters, ragtag career men, and maniacs, By Zack Ween


The events described took place a couple days ago, Friday, November 6th, and between those two days copious amounts of alcohol have found its way into my system, so this will be written to the best of my recollection.

I arrived at Frankie’s about 10pm, an hour after doors opened. I usually arrive at clubs about that time so I can patronize their bar, but today I was not arriving alone, so my adventure involved waiting for some friends to be ready to go. From outside the club I could see that I’d arrived just in time, as the first band of the evening, Snarly was taking the stage, and I entered to their first song beginning. I ordered a drink and stood in the middle of the floor as I like to do. It seems most times with opening bands, audiences don’t want to seem to enthusiastic, as they kind of stand off to the side and to the back, ordering drinks and talking, but my attitude is that I like to make the openers feel open and welcome. This isn’t the Roman Colosseum and they shouldn’t feel like they are being fed to the lions. (although I will admit sometimes I do stand outside and smoke cigarettes and drink and socialize when my head isn’t quite in the game yet, so who am I to judge. Moving on.


Snarly, a Toledo 3 piece of bass, keyboard, and vocals, lists their genre as Electrotrash. Having no drum player, they use the drum functions of a keyboard to take that over, and their keys substitute large in part for a guitar, but with a special electronic crunch that adds the space creature image they have. The lead vocalist also makes use of electronic toy zappers that squeal into the microphone. They come out on stage all wearing homemade monster masks, and offer a sound to match. It’s something out of science fiction, but with silly lyrics about being weird and eating lunch alone, as can be heard, HERE. Which is just a taste of their recently released album, ENTER THE GOREBURGER ZONE. I wanted to pick up this album for a more in depth listen, but I don’t like to buy merchandise during the show. Too much baggage, however their merch booth wasn’t available at the end of the night. From what I experienced, it’s fun silly music that you can dance to, despite the non traditional lineup. Their Facebook page can be found HERE.

Now if there’s one thing I like to tell people about Frankie’s is that the drinks are cheap compared to most music establishments, that is if you drink like me, which at bars is typically cans of PBR selling for two American dollars, and this was a deal I was taking advantage of. Three beers in the second band of the night,

The Wanna Bees took stage, with the guitar player dressed in doctor scrubs, a bassist with a construction uniform, and a policeman on drums. (While they’re official web page shows 4 members, with another guitar player dressed like a postman.) “WHAT DO YOU WANNA BE WH11254290_10153323998147983_3302430133573153152_nEN YOU GROW UP?” The asked the audience. What happened next took me back to sitting in my underwear watching children’s programming, and thanks to the alcohol, I had about the same enthusiasm as one of the studio kids. Songs about exercising, the guitar players stethoscope, and brushing your teeth, made me wish I had them around when I was a kid. I’m 27 years old now, I never knew The Wiggles, but I raised my beer and yelled “Fuck the Wiggles!,” (this was not prompted by the band in anyway and in retrospect was probably inappropriate) and broke into dance along with them and my friend on the floor with me. We probably looked like morons. This isn’t some ironic group, these fellas are actually an adored children and family friendly band, and I personally think that is awesome. Kids need some sweet music for them that isn’t a part of the plastic star studded pop music heard on the radio. I wish I had music like this as a kid that was friendly and campy but played like a genuine rock and roll band with some punk rock elements to it. You can here their music here. If you got kids, buy this album, they will thank you and you will be less annoyed on car rides skipping that Radio Disney nonsense or whatever, this will get them started off right on a road to awesome, and if you’re a parent, isn’t that the point?

There’s a lot of empty beer cans collecting to the right of me, I supposed some of it was my fault as I realized this while setting my next empty can down next to it. So I mosey on to the bar and buy two more, one for myself and my friend. This get’s me to a very appropriate level as my anticipation builds for next band, for whom I was most familiar with: Ego and the Maniacs, a 5 piece 6 instrument ska punk band made of punk veterans of previous northwest Ohio bands, Syndicate and Annica (not to be confused with other acts that may share those names if you search them.) I’m going to admit there to be some bias as I had spent many nights hanging out and drinking with these fine folks, but I wouldn’t be tooting their sax horn if I didn’t think they were great, and the local respoFrankies-Inner-citynse to their performance shows they had earned their stripes. They opened with their first two songs off of their first and recently released album, 7 Miles, Toaster and Kid, and then started to skip around their album, and introducing a few songs not yet available to keep with their 30 minute time limit. One of my favorite songs, Nocturnal, has this incredible buildup and climax (with both the song and in my pants.) Their official Facebook page can be found here. After their set I was feeling very sweaty and winded, and needed to cool off, so I grabbed more beer and went outside. There was one band left to go that I had heard awesome things about, but did not do my homework leading up to the event. In my conversations outside I had learned of some unfortunate news that kind of killed my mood. One being the unfortunate and untimely passing of Teenage Bottle Rocket drummer, Brandon Carlisle, and two being the upcoming doom of Toledo’s most reputable music promoter, Innovations, and venue who’s purpose was a music venue and not just a bar that has music play at it. This of course being the very venue I was presently at, and had many awesome nights enjoying touring acts and local supporters for the last 10 years, (while Toledo itself has had decades of history there.) It’s basically a CBGBs that nobody outside of Toledo has heard of. So many other venues had shuttered, and without a local promoter bringing in acts I fear the downfall of Toledo music. Hopefully from the ashes comes something, or a call to action can prevent us from losing something that has helped make Toledo a place that I like to be.

With heavy heart, and boozed head, I went back inside. Our headliner, Peelander Z was readying to take stage. Peelander Z, a New York based Japanese punk rock band, has their members go by the colors they wear. Think Peelan12231296_10153323710117983_545377035_nder Yellow, Peelander Pink, Peelander Green, you get the picture. They also wear bizarre headgear that gives them the image and personas and lets just go ahead and say powers of comic book monsters. While three took the stage, their official page shows they also have a 4th member, Peelander Purple. While my unfamiliarity with their music, I can’t say much specifically about the songs played, but their sound does cover a variety of old school punk, heavy metal, and ska. The best way I can describe it is that it’s fun, pure and simple. There was no more frowning for me in my momentary sadness as they swept the entire audience floor (Frankie’s is a small and intimate place) turning all the floor into a game of limbo. Engaged the audiences with stage dives and crowd surfs, and at one point of the evening, 12233150_10153323811692983_962998149_nI found myself on stage with the guitar player from Wannabees and the Saxophone player from Ego and the Maniacs being put in charge of the instruments. (Photo on the left, credit to Monika Perry). Now, I’m not a drummer, but I can keep a simple beat. So I thought, yeah, I got this. While Peelander Green was showing me to just keep time on the tom, I took the sticks and played a sloppy roll with kick drums. I could see this was not what they wanted from me, so I recomposed myself. As the other transplant musicians played what we were instructed, the members of Peelander Z set up 10 pins in the middle of Frankie’s small stage, cleared a “lane” in the middle of the audience, and proceeded to play a game of human bowling. We had some chemistry as I teased with a drumroll upon their approach and they would stop and start until they (one of them, maybe Peelander Yellow, I can’t remember) dove through the pins.

While I can imagine most of you reading this have been aware of Peelander Z, and this was my first experience with them, I invite you to get reacquainted with them, or check out them out if they come to town. I picked up their 2013 album, Metalander-Z, obviously a more metal influenced album, at the venue on vinyl from Peelander Pink herself, and its been my background music while I type this. It has a good home in my collection.

So that was a Friday Night in Toledo’s Music scene. 3 fun local bands and 1 international touring acts with a pre sale cost of a super low eight dollars, worth every penny, and definitely one for the books. Hopefully this isn’t one of Toledo’s swan songs.

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