JAPANTHER: Tut Tut Now Shake Ya Butt: CD

I’m a relative newcomer to Japanther, having only discovered them last summer when I saw them live at Fuck Yeah Fest, where I was totally fascinated by them. After hearing their Skuffed My Huffy album, I think it might be a modern classic. This album is good, but very odd. First and foremost, there are nine tracks, not counting the intro and outro, of which two are spoken word pieces by Penny Rimbaud from Crass that are around ten minutes each. I think that it’s cool that they put the tracks on here, since it shows the band taking chances and doing something different. Penny Rimbaud is also one of those people like Ian Mackaye, Mike Watt, or Dick Lucas who has so much credibility that he could probably put out a ballroom dance video and it would still somehow be more punk than anything most people could ever hope to achieve. However, the spoken word pieces being in the middle of the CD seriously fuck with the flow of this album, especially since the rest of the songs on this album combined are shorter than the two tracks. That said, “Um Like Your Smile Is Totally Ruling Me,” “Bumpin Rap Tapes,” “The Dirge,” and “Radical Businessman” are some of the catchiest things I’ve heard come out of 2008. Except for “Radical Businessman,” these songs are also oddly sweet. Pick this up. Just be ready to skip a couple of tracks.

 –Adrian (Wantage USA)