Sex Machineguns, whose name was meant to indicate they're tougher than the Sex Pistols, became the prime keepers of the heavy metal flame in Japan in the late '90s and 2000s, blending Florida thrash and early German speed/power metal and spicing it up with violent lyrics and extravagant fashion statements, courtesy of the flourishing visual kei scene. The beginnings of the band date back to 1989, when it was a project of two university students, Anchang (vocals and guitar) and Mad Power (drums). After graduation, Anchang moved on to become a regular office worker, and the real story of Sex Machineguns didn't start until 1995, when Mad Power pushed him to revive the band, adding bassist Noisy and guitarist Sussy to the lineup. Sex Machineguns debuted with the EP Live Fire in 1997, and soon received a record deal from EMI. Mad Power left soon after the band got signed and was replaced by Speed Star Sypan Joe, who, in turn, quit in 2000 citing health problems, but still started his own group, Dasein, in 2001. His post was taken over by Clutch J. Himawari, formerly of CleiR. Meanwhile, Sex Machineguns had their major-label debut with the single Hanabi-la Daikaiten (1998), and then released their first studio album Sex Machinegun (1998). It charted at number 29 and was followed by Made in Japan (1999), which began the band's streak of five Top Ten records (including the live CD Burning Hammer, 2001, and the best-of Machineguns Get-Together, 2003). True to heavy metal ethos, Sex Machineguns toured like crazy, selling out the Budokan in 2000. The intense lifestyle became too much for Sussy by 2001 after the band's third album, Barbe-Q Michael, but the newlywed dropout was replaced by C.V. Panther of CleiR.
The fourth album, Ignition (2002), charted at number eight, but in 2003 Sex Machineguns suddenly announced their disbandment, throwing another Budokan gig as a way of waving goodbye. Noisy and Clutch defected into punk, and Anchang tried to establish a solo project, but in 2004 he, along with Circuit V.Panther and Speed Star Sypan Joe, resurrected Sex Machineguns. The bass was handled by Samurai W. Kenjilaw, who used to play in Cali Gari as Kanjirou. Their mid-2000s efforts Heavy Metal Thunder (2005) and Made in USA (2006), however, didn't create as much commercial fuss as before, charting at number 22 and number 29, respectively. Made in USA was, unsurprisingly, recorded in America, where Sex Machineguns debuted live at the time. In 2006 the band broke up for the third time in its history, with all members but Anchang going on to form Cycle, and the mastermind himself dabbling in another side project before returning to Sex Machineguns again. The band, now a trio including Ryotatsu Kuwae (guitar) and Ken'ichi Imai (drums), released three digital singles in 2007 and its seventh studio album, Kyameron, in 2008. The album charted at a modest number 39. ~ Alexey Eremenko, Rovi