Half Japanese influenced all your favorite indie-rock bands. If you’re into more polished indie bands, I guarantee they influenced *their* favorite bands. Formed in Maryland circa 1975 by brothers Jad and David Fair, they cranked out infectiously catchy, happy-go-lucky bedroom-punk without ever bothering to tune their instruments. A recent reunion has led to headlining appearances at SXSW and opening for Neutral Milk Hotel (which should totally have been the other way around). Imagine Dead Kennedys minus the anger, Dinosaur Jr without the angst. Jad’s geeky, nasal croon is as sharp as ever.
RIYL life, love, rock & roll
1. (2:39)** awkward, rambling diatribe about staying positive, set to dissonant, punchy chords; a dorky reworking of ‘50s rock n roll
2. (3:40)* frantic upbeat love song with cowbell and surfy-garage vibes, Thee Oh Sees plus reverb minus sex appeal
3. (4:02) kind of silly reggae/calypso jaunt, heavily swung, happy guitar leads and even a conga solo
4. (4:17) weird angry dark stomp, vocals seem to be muttered through a broken megaphone
5. (5:45) kind of sappy ballad vibes with Fair’s off-key earnest singing carrying the tune
6. (2:23)* jumpy, punky, catchy love song with irresistible guitar hooks
7. (4:02) grooving pseudo-rockabilly swing
8. (2:25) slow, somber, lilting tune accompanied by maybe an accordion?
9. (2:20)* jangly, dissonant guitar lead, rushed drums and generally anxious but upbeat rockin’
10. (3:02) another low-key strummer tune, surreal half-spoken lyrics
11. (1:54) fun, midpaced tune with acoustic and electric guitars, Jad sounds slightly urgent
12. (3:27) the sappiest of the slow tunes, heavily reverbed guitar and more of that weird accordion/harmonica thing