thee 50's high teens

Thee 50's High Teens are a nearly irresistible proposition: an all-girl Japanese vampire-themed garage rock band. The group was established in 1998 in Fukuoka, the capitol of an idiosyncratic music scene known as "Mentai Rock"; the mastermind behind Thee 50's High Teens was the bassist/vocalist Tomo, a 16-year-old high school dropout. The band's name unites the Japanese term for "late teens" with a reference to the '50s of the Japanese Showa era, i.e. 1975-1984, when the original bandmembers were born. The lineup fluctuated constantly, but Thee 50's High Teens began to record demos and play live shows, gaining quite a reputation for their performances. In 2003 the band, which included Tomo, Honey (guitar), Rika (drums), and Kei (keyboards), released their eponymous full-length debut, recorded in just three days. In 2004, Rika left and was replaced by Sue; the same year the band recorded its second album, Punch De Beat, and toured Germany and Belgium. They didn't hit the studio for the next couple of years, only releasing a pair of live albums in 2006; in 2006-2008, the lineup underwent more shifts, with Tomo and Sue eventually teaming up with the keyboardist Yocci and guitarist Nami. In 2008, the revamped band toured the U.S. with the Captains, and their second Japanese album was released stateside on Tokyo No Records along with the EP The Time Was Then Is Now. In 2009, the girls returned to Germany, and in 2010, they recorded the EP End & Rond. ~ Alexey Eremenko

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