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DMBQ

Meaner and heavier than Godzilla rampaging through the streets of Tokyo with an acid-fried hangover and no motivation save for wreaking random havoc and complete annihilation, Japan's DMBQ (Dynamite Masters Blues Quartet) batter the listener with relentless, riff-heavy bombardment and improvisatory, psychedelic noise jams encompassing everyone from Frank Marino and Sonny Sharrock to the Butthole Surfers.

Stun-gun opener "She Walks" resurrects the late '60s guitar bombast of Blue Cheer melded perfectly with the dirty garage snarl of Guitar Wolf, before the album transmogrifies into a schizophrenic guitar freak-out not experienced in the Land of the Rising Sun since Rodan's flame-throwing act obliterated Yokohama. You can't help but picture Gibby Haynes drugged up on a hallucinatory concoction of Bowery ripple and a 12-pack of Robitussin on the mind expanding "Mirror Baby," which showcases the distortion-riddled and nearly unintelligible singing of mastermind-singer-guitarist Shinji Masuko. Alternating between the somber six-string meltdown of "Dm" to the disjointed, wham-bam "Nothing"--lifted straight from compatriots the Ruins' noise-meets-free jazz encyclopedia of pandemonium--DMBQ launch tsunami waves of fuzz guitar, thundering bass licks and hysterical skin bashing (from ex-Shonen Knife drummer China), all clashing for the spotlight over Masuko's wailing. They almost approach their blues heroes on "Swamp King," where Masuko, housed in a gas mask-cum-microphone get-up, howls like a hound dog in heat, chained to a one-room shack, in a backwoods Appalachian holler, with no chance of escape.

More by Ron Bally

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