It’s rare for Japanese bands to play in the US, so the ones that actually do make it over here are generally either very talented and/or very popular. In Chatmonchy’s case, they have a rare combination of both. This was indicated by their strong performance during the in-store and the sound check (about an hour before the actual in-store), and the fans arriving early just to claim a spot in front.
The three women who make up Chatmonchy are Eriko on guitar and lead vocals, Akiko on bass and harmonies, and Kumiko on drums and harmonies. Together they play hard rocking yet melodic pop music, with Japanese lyrics of course. The songs consisted of 3 to 5 minute rockers as well as progressive ballads, which indicated a more emotionally powerful element to their songwriting that transcends language barriers.
Though there were a few Japanese fans in attendance, the majority of the audience appeared to be Americans who were there specifically for Chatmonchy. The Amoeba shoppers who just happened to be there were also treated to the band’s impressive display of musicianship and performance. It’s worth noting that all the copies of Chatmonchy’s three albums (priced at $26.99 a pop) sold out soon after they finished playing.