SWEET JAPANESE AMERICAN PRINCESSES: Virgin Vibe: LP

An assault, in the best possible sense. I had a chance to see these guys live in Minneapolis and I was amazed that they could play so fast, so frenetic, and actually play their songs note-for-note. That impressed me much more than any prodigy playing the violin or piano, because, really, could those dandies play so well with beer being thrown at them? Could they do it surrounded by a churning crowd? No. Of course not. Sweet J.A.P. (three of them a Japanese, thus the play on words) take the banner placed in America’s ass by Teengenerate and kept there by Registrators. In other words, they play garage rock that is too fast and chaotic for the garage purists, and punk rock that’s too tightly played for the punk purists, but perfect for those of us who like to flat-out rock out without worrying about what holes to fill. I had a hypothesis that if a Japanese band was to continually kick our asses at our own game, they’d have to cross an ocean before shaming us. (Figuring fresh sushi, sleeping on mats, and advances in technology would always give them the edge.) Nope, these guys have resided in Minnesota long enough for American culture to make them slow, cheese-fat, and complacent. Twelve songs. They go off like a dozen bottle rockets lit in your back pocket. If you can’t wiggle or scream along when they sizzle to life, you’ve either got iron underwear or no molecules in your brain with an appreciation for fast music. Spectacular.

 –todd (Big Neck)