Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Say you love satan! I love you mom!" Seems like a wicked combination of expletives, adjectives and other shit's always on deck when somebody's writing about Japanther, whose noise blast sound has grown into its own melodic, punk rock deal over the past three years. In 2009 they sound more like the Beach Boys and the Ramones, versus the Screamers --a band I regularly compared them to when they started. They still like to confront, get in your face, encourage behaviour changing, room-cleaning, swimming, etc. but now they are accomplished songwriters and Japanther's melodies are some of the hummed-est around this household. Start with their Skuffed Up My Huffy LP and then work through the catalog. Stop at Master of Pigeons and spin I-10, head over to Wolfenswan and get your noise-skuzz fill, work back to Operating Manual for Life on Earth and be greeted by the voice of Jimmy Carter. It's an ambitious, eclectic, varied body of work these guys have whipped up in their short career.

And the music's only about 75% of the deal with the band. Every time one turns around, there's a wild audio/video/visual/puppet art blowout going on at the Whitney or at PS122 or in Marfa... or at Art Basel and invariably, Japanther are putting something together with Dan Graham (Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty) or a handful of other seriously creative types. Japanther played Total Fest I in 2002, and since then they've gone around the world a few times, played hundreds of shows (recently with the Dillinger 4 and Against Me!), but they continue keep Total Fest and Missoula directly on their radar. We love Japanther. They play from their guts, they do what they feel, and they work like mad to make their music and art happen, and on their own terms to boot.

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