The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Indestructibles – HALF JAPANESE: Invincible (Fire Records, 2019)

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Lo de HALF JAPANESE es un caso absolutamente epatante y digno de estudio. Dentro de su longevidad como banda/artistas, el combo de JAD FAIR, que va prácticamente a disco por año, continúa sorprendiéndonos con esa forma de entender el Pop+C86, algo deslabazado e incluso anárquico, pero ofreciendo gotas de auténtica genialidad (Indestructible, Love explosion, Swept away, Or ever will, All at once, What are you gonna do?…) Inclasificables.

“Puppet people, vampires and the walking dead frequent the world of Jad Fair’s songwriting – outside of those interruptions he’s besotted. Maybe even in love. He feels invincible and as the closing instrumental cut ‘Indestructible’ floats off into the ether there’s a feeling of job done; we can rest tonight; everything is good; we are loved and in love.
“Hooray for love!” Jad intones on ‘All At Once’. It comes to us all… eventually.
On their last excursion into the studio, Pop Matters summed them up as so: “Half-Japanese are a respected institution. They’ve been making noise since the late ’70s. Noise is an important word here because one defining feature of the group is this.”
Nothing changes. Fair, J, an inspiration on the Elephant Six groups, Kurt Cobain and a host of others remains a rose-coloured visionary, mocked by monsters and loved by girls. It begs the question, is penultimate track ‘It Has Me’ about the former or the latter? As ever, this is a two-way thing, you make as much of Half Japanese as you want to. You have to put in the work, have the imagination.
Their new studio album continues to be uncategorizable, joyous, detuned, quizzical, alluring, childlike, charming, innocent, questioning. ‘Invincible’ is a celebration of sound. It’s pop music for those outside of pop music. It has songs for those still bedevilled by one liners and abrasive melodies.
Half Japanese are Jad Fair, John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Jason Willett and Mick Hobbs” (Press Note)

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20 marzo, 2019 Posted by | Half Japanese, Jad Fair | Deja un comentario

Desvíos – HALF JAPANESE: Why not? (Video-Single, 2018)

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Adelanto del nuevo Lp de HALF JAPANESE, que debería haber aparecido ya a comienzos de año. Por lo pronto quédate con este inquietante Why not?

“Half Japanese have returned to peel further layers from their onion. They have a new album that’s a square further on in their unpredictable musical snakes and ladders board. ‘Why Not?’ is a magical thing – it’s Springsteen’s ‘Born To Run’ recorded in a cupboard, it’s an ode to love, it’s a Wire song with two duelling guitarists being Zappa on helium, it’s Parquet Courts in a tantrum, it’s The Crickets contorted into ? and The Mysterians, it’s everywhere and nowhere, baby, it’s where it’s at.
On ‘Why Not?’ nuances are mused, situations explained, questions asked. Outside, zombies and demons roam and everyday aliens emerge from spaceships: it’s a technicolor film transcribed by Jad Fair and friends John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett, their faces at the cracked window of their subterranean habitat looking out at the real world”


2 marzo, 2018 Posted by | Half Japanese | Deja un comentario

Insobornables – HALF JAPANESE: Hear the lions roar (Fire, 2017)

Insobornables a cualquier tipo de sometimiento crítico o musical. Algo así como los grandes outsiders del Indie-Pop de los últimos treinta años. HALF JAPANESE son tan aristados como auténticos. A estas alturas de la película juegan siempre en casa, y hacen lo que les parece. Nadie les va a pedir virtuosismo ni construcciones más o menos standards, así que la banda de los hermanos FAIR se concentra en darle una vuelta de tuerca más a su visión del Pop, acaso de la forma más ácida posible.

Hear the Lions Roar reveals that he and his latest edition ofHalf Japanese are still a weird but glorious force to be reckoned with. Where they were once proudly inept, Half Japanese now sound elemental but emphatic, a scrappy rock & roll band that can get an audience up on their feet, even if this group is still not interested in flashy solos or the conventions of commercial pop music. And while many of these tracks feel homemade, Fair and his bandmates obviously rehearsed this music before hitting the studio, and the songs are tuneful rather than just serving as a framework for Jad‘s various lyrical rants. As for Jad, after losing interest in horror movies for a few years, his preoccupation has returned on Hear the Lions Roar, and his tale of “zombie hippies” in “The Preventers” sounds like a flick worth seeing on a Saturday night, while “Attack of the Giant Leeches” and the werewolf tale “It Never Stops” further suggest Fair ought to consider pitching his ideas to some low-budget producer with a vision. (Hey, if Sharknado can get financed, why not this stuff?) But it’s the tunes in which Fair and company celebrate the joys of living and the powers of belief (such as “Wherever We Are Led” and “On the Right Track”), and even the possibilities of love (“It’s Our Time”), that really bring Hear the Lions Roar to life. And why not? On Hear the Lions Roar, Half Japanese demonstrate that after nearly 40 years of music-making, they’re still creating some of the most engaging recordings of their lives, and that’s truly something to believe in” (All Music)

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5 septiembre, 2017 Posted by | Half Japanese | Deja un comentario

Actitud – HALF JAPANESE: Attack of the giant leeches (Fire Records, Single, 2016)

Actitud y compromiso… “With Jad Fair at the helm for over four decades, the highly revered Half Japanese still remain “the ultimate expression of punk’s dictum that rock should be accessible to anyone who wanted to pick up an instrument and play” (AllMusic)


4 noviembre, 2016 Posted by | Half Japanese | Deja un comentario


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