Record of the Week: PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE/
SPEED GURU split EP + book
This is a killer package containing a split 7″ of totally bonkers heavy psych featuring Japan’s SPEED GURU with Kawabata from ACID MOTHER’S TEMPLE and Tabata from AMT/ZENI GEVA/BOREDOMS. PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE is outta Chicago and has been playing variants of psych and space rock since the late ’90s. The record comes with a comic book that is packaged like the old Power Records comic book LPs (Planet of the Apes, Spiderman vs. The Lizard People, etc.). SPEED GURU lays the smackdown with a ton of distortion on “Speed Guru Theme,” which is just the band saying their name over and over while fast and heavy psych plays over it. It’s essentially the same song that PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE does on their side, only with a different self-shoutout. They later get into a wild hippie/improv trip, which is much better than it sounds, I assure you. PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE’s opener also has simple, heavy fuzzedout bombastic wah-wah and the second song is even more fuzzed out and distorted to hell. Musically this isn’t punk like you know it but it’s certainly DIY, which I can dig, ya dig?
The enclosed book is a rad action comic illustrated by Plastic Crimewave (the person), which he co-writes with Kawabata. Crimewave also has done incredible work with his book-sized zine Galactic Zoo Dossier, which covers loads of psych/proto-punk/space rock knowns and unknowns, and is all handwritten and hand drawn. The cover shows Kawabata as an “electric samurai” wailing his guitar into the outworlds. The line work, especially the used of cross-hatching and shadows is fantastic. The story of various psychedelic/garage rock superheroes starts with Speed Guru not being able to draw comics after a bike accident. He goes to see Ancient Asahito (who’s drawn like Keiji Haino as a monk) at the Acid Mother’s Temple who tells him to “channel the elegant vibrations of the Cosmic Force of Electricity” (and probably the ability to release a million records). This also features some great drawings of Kawabata, who is the Speed Guru and student of Asahito. Eventually, Speed Guru and Plastic Crimewave come to blows as Plastic attempts the “Mystic Garage Punk Chop” (which is likely a nod to ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE’s love for pro wrestling and the fact that they often choke-slam guitars during shows). The story continues on with the battle of sound waves and space jams. I won’t spoil the rest as you’ll have to get this…and soon!
— Justin Davisson