Japanese psych-rock act DMBQ harnessed the wild-eyed freakout energy of Tokyo's acid rock underground, blending the same overblown sound of that scene with a heavy influence from classic hard rock of Britain and the U.S. Highly active throughout the '90s and early 2000s, the band churned out upwards of a dozen LPs, EPs, and collections of their fuzz-heavy rock, touring constantly and working with both indie and major labels alike. The tragic death of a bandmember while on tour in 2005 preceded a long hiatus, but they would reactivate for the release of 2018's Keeenly, released by superfan Ty Segall on his God? imprint.
Formed in 1988 in Sapporo, DMBQ moved to Tokyo two years later and became part of the underground scene. Their initial lineup included vocalist Shinji Masukoin, guitarist Touru Matsui, bassist Ryuichi Watanabe, and drummer Yuka Yoshimura from OOIOO. Over time they became friends with the likes of Guitar Wolf, the Boredoms, and Merzbow, all left-field acts drawn to DMBQ thanks to their wild, over-the-top live show. In 1995 the bandmembers explained their acronym with their debut album, Dynamite Masters Blues Quartet, released by the Less Than TV label. The EXP album would arrive a year later, then in 1997 they landed on the Digital Catastroph compilation collaborating with noise artists Violent Onsen Geisha.
DMBQ would keep a prolific release schedule and eventually land on a major label when they signed with Sony's Japanese imprint Parco in 1999. In 2001 their remix album Resonated featured help from Buffalo Daughter along with Boredoms' member Yamantaka Eye. In 2004 Yoshimura left the band after recording that year's Esoteric Black Hair. He was replaced by former Shonen Knife drummer Mana "China" Nishiura, who appeared on 2005's The Essential Sounds from the Far East, released by the American garage rock label Estrus.
Tragedy struck that same year when the band's touring van careened off the highway while touring the U.S. Nishiura didn't survive the accident. After taking some time off to mourn and recover, the band returned with drummer Shinji Wada and toured the West Coast of America. No new DMBQ material would surface for over a decade, but the band returned in 2018 with the release of the sprawling double album Keeenly, released in November of that year. ~ David Jeffries & Fred Thomas~ Rovi