Norman Pearlstine
December 15, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Gear Blues

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
genre
Rock

We gave it a B+

With Gear Blues, first released in Japan in 1998, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant migrates from being Japan’s best rock band to a player on the world stage. The disc also shakes the group loose from some of its more primitive British/Australian punk influences. The quartet is at its best on ”Smokin’ Billy” and ”Free Devil Jam,” when vocalist Yusuke Chiba and guitarist Futoshi Abe are playing fast and hard. But the slow blues ”Hotel Bronco” disappoints. When a later, better album, Casanova Snake, gets a foreign release, TMGE’s global status will be secure. B+

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