The Foxys have got more than just dirty, raw, fast-as-hell rhythm and blues music in common with The Gimmies. They also throw stuff at journalists. But this time I was minding my own business when Saitama-based singer/guitarist Ryo Hashida collided with my table at a show and sent my beer flying over me. He later apologized and gave me a copy of their home-burned self-titled debut mini-album.

The first track, “Foxy Dance,” sounds like the Stooges covering the Stones in a toilet while a tornado rips the house apart. Like the Foxys’ other stuff it’s also plastered in distorted funky wah-wahing. “I love the Stones,” says Hashida. “And actually I did get the ‘woo-hoos’ idea in ‘Foxy Dance’ from ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ The Foxys also have the energy of The Who and the fuzzed-up intensity of Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground. All bands Hashida, bassist Toru Imai, and drummer Keiichi Akiyama cite as influences.

The Foxys play Shinjuku Red Cloth, March 16 ([03] 3202-5320); Higashi-Koenji UFO Club March 29, April 10 and May 14 ([03] 5306-0240). For more info check the-foxys.hp.infoseek.co.jp/

Watusi Zombie are Osaka’s answer to The Gimmies and The Foxys, only their stage antics are more crazy, their bluesy rock songs more roughly hewn. Guitar/vocalists Tanimura Jugem and Yasuzato Anri, and drummer Miyake Meguru, opted for no bass. I mean, that would just slow things up. At shows, Tanimura plays guitar and an organ (with his foot!) while sporting a permanent demented grin on his face. “It isn’t cool to keep a straight face. It seems fake and it’s not rock ‘n’ roll,” says Anri of his partner. But the band’s best party trick is when the drums are dragged into the midst of a shocked but delighted crowd for the final song. “We do that because percussion conveys the energy of the music and if the drums are in the crowd the fans can feel the power,” explains Anri.

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