Sunday, March 29, 2009

Half Japanese - Postcard

(Erl, 1992)

Jad Fair’s trembling, nasal yawpings, of course, dominate this sweaty 1992 live recording, a disc unremarkable other than for the fact that it’s interesting to hear how bluesy and rootsy the oft-cute ’n’ weird Half Japanese can sometimes be. The lineup here is competent in a ragged, bar-groop sense, blorting out two consecutive versions of “Postcard” (one fast, one slow), a rocking “Oh Colleen,” and the noise-squiggle blooze of “Rocking Chair,” all of which dials down the self-conscious silliness/amateurism while maintaining an anything-goes, rehearsal-quality looseness. But the best track, and the actual reason anyone should bother finding this record, is definitely the piledriving “Round and Round” cover, which is a swell marriage of Chuck Berry and Sonic Youth that pounds along with heavy, downstroke speaker-crunch before falling apart entirely.

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