With Jad Fair at the helm for over four decades, the highly revered Half Japanese still remain “the ultimate expression of punk’s dictum that rock should be accessible to anyone who wanted to pick up an instrument and play” (AllMusic).Born out of the Fair brother’s lo-fi bedroom recordings of the mid-70’s, they reinvented rock music with their off-kilter view and popular outsider rock. Leading the lo-fi movement of the early 90s burgeoning indie rock scene, Half Japanese’s lasting influence and prolific output has seen them experiment with alternate tunings, chords and melody and in recent years they’ve produced more cohesive offerings.
Wildly eccentric and humorous, the energetic ‘Hear The Lions Roar’ is an art rock record where Jad’s expertly thrown out lyrics remain optimistic and fresh alongside a fierce and compelling rhythm section. Featuring a cohort of past musicians from the 90’s, their dexterous instrumentation brings further depth to Jad’s songs.
The addition of guest musicians baritone horn player Lydia Fischer and cellist Sophie Bernadou brings more uplifting moments to the record including the title cut. ‘Attack Of The Giant Leeches’ and ‘The Preventers’ share an innocence that harks back to the band’s younger years when their songs were centred around horror movies, tabloids and women.
One of their finest albums to date and eighteenth full length studio album ‘Hear The Lions Roar’ is released 13th January 2017 on Fire Records. Line-up includes: John Sluggett (guitar, keys, timbales), Gilles-Vincent Rieder (drums, percussion, keys), Jason Willett (bass, keys), Mick Hobbs (guitar, glockenspiel) and Jad Fair (vox).
“They set a blueprint for subsequent indie rock, the kind that valued DIY yet didn’t shy away from melody, and addressed matters of the heart with arch distance.” Pitchfork
“Half Japanese are no dictatorship – more an underground political movement, united in their love for Jad Fair’s weird dismantling vision” The Wire
“Jad Fair’s legacy project shows no sign of burning out.” The Line Of Best Fit
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