JAPANTHER: Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt: CD

I saw Japanther awhile ago because I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. I thought they were kinda interesting but I wasn’t super into the show. However, after listening to this CD, I’d be inclined to give them another go. It’s a really short CD, weighing in at only 37:05, at least sixteen minutes of which are taken up by Penny Rimbaud’s poetry (over music). Now this little addition to the album piqued my interest—Penny Rimbaud, probably best known for being one of the founders of Crass—is the executive producer of the album, and also contributes a few spoken word pieces. The relatively lengthy pieces were, for me, mildly interesting and at least worthy of more listening. His voice sounds like Vincent Price reading an Edgar Allen Poe poem, and the content was full of dramatic imagery. Not sure yet how into the poems I am, but at least one line in particular stood out for me: “What madness is it that we do not see the beauty of love?” In addition to Mr. Rimbaud, other guests include Spank Rock and New Bad Things. Overall, I’d say I like the album. Outside of the pieces where Penny Rimbaud is reading, it’s mostly dancey and fun and full of electronic-based spazziness. I’m curious about what types of instruments were used throughout, but, unfortunately, there isn’t an insert included, so I guess I’ll be left to wonder at this point. I really liked the song where there was a heavier drum beat: “Radical Businessman.” I note that, in addition to a few songs about girls, there are also not one but two that appear to be about cops. The artwork is kinda cool—very colorful and with Japanther’s name quite well-hidden amongst King Tut’s headdress. One thing that was odd is that the CD appeared to be missing one of the songs listed on the back: “Totally RulingMe.” I have a feeling I’ll be bringing out at least a couple of the songs from this album at the next party-type shindig at my house.

 –Federico (Wäntage USA)