Band of the Week: Japanther!


Here are the past ‘Band of the Week’ recipients.

Japanther is a folk punk (or noise rock) band from Brooklyn established by Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek.

What makes Japanther superb is not necessarily their studio releases (they’re still good), but rather their bizarre performances and music videos (more on that further down the post). Japanther has a wide array of collaboration partners, which isn’t unusual but their list is longer than the usual band or artist – the frequent use of collab partners helps make Japanther more unique as well. Collab partners include: Anita Sparrow, Claudia Meza, gelitin, and Penny Rimbaud, among many others.

The duo is, seemingly, very down to earth and all about the folk punk/noise rock scene. (I’m not sure if they’re even folk punk? My friend told me they were. Whatever, labels are stupid!) Judging by pictures on their website, Japanther frequently plays ‘dingy’ places that look like garages, basements, or people’s houses/apartments where the audience is no more than a foot or two away from them.

Japanther rocking out in what appears to be a local theater. Also, phone microphones! (Source)

Japanther rocking out in what appears to be a local theater. Also, phone microphones! (Source)

Japanther’s performances have included (not all at once): Puppets/Marionettes in the back of a truck, giant dinosaurs and BMXers doing tricks off of walls, and a group of synchronized swimmers – atop the Williamsburg Bridge. Quite the interesting duo, and it must be a feast for the eyes to see these performances.

Here is one of their many unique performances as a BMXer rides the walls as Japanther plays. (Source) (Photo Credit:  Richard Gin)

Here is one of their many unique performances as a BMXer rides the walls as Japanther plays. (Source) (Photo Credit: Richard Gin)

Japanther has a long discography that includes 3 EPs, over 40 of their own songs (without collabs), 11 albums, 1 CD-R (only writable once, then the CD can only be listened to instead of adding more music/data on it), 4 split 7 albums (split 7 is where there are two or more artists/bands on the album), and 1 DVD album (more or less just a documentary, but there is music on it).

A very interesting band that has not really hit the mainstream, which is good because it may take away from the uniqueness that is Japanther. Here is my favorite song by Japanther:

 

What’s your opinion on Japanther? If you haven’t heard of them, please give them a listen – it’s worth it.

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