When you consider that English is their second language, “Peelander-Z” is a surprisingly good name for a Japanese pop punk band. Most people can’t be funny on purpose in their native tongue; some can pull it off in another language, but very few ESL speakers can walk the line between funny-clever and funny-dumb.
Peelander-Z do it with their primary-colored, Power Rangers-styled costumes. They did it with 2011’s “So Many Mike,” a two-minute earworm about how many gaijin are named Mike or John. They did it with last year’s Metalander-Z, which features several dead-on stylistic parodies of 1980s hair metal. They are a silly band, and like all silly bands they live or die by the catchiness of their songs.
Fortunately, Peelander-Z songs are as catchy as Mike freaking Piazza. They do all their weird stuff with an ineffably Japanese enthusiasm not seen since Potshot. Wearing a yellow crablike hat while you scream about how you like your steak is probably not cool. But it is also so cool—in that it expands the very notion of what’s cool, in that it viscerally changes our attitude toward how much cool is possible.
Peelander-Z plays the Palace Thu., April 24, at 9 PM, along with Bacon & Egg. $5.