Japanther Put In Some Effort

Japanther Put In Some Effort
"Our shitty recording quality is just because we’re lazy,” says Ian Vanek, one half of Brookyn-based DIY punks Japanther. "If people are attached to that, it’s kind of funny.” Known for producing records that frequently sound nothing like the band’s bristling live shows — found-sound collages as opposed to fast, melodic, bass-and-drums punk rock — Skuffed Up My Huffy is a pretty significant departure for the band, in that it actually sounds like the band.

"We wanted to make an album that actually played all the way through,” says Vanek. "An album that people could actually listen to, that could maybe get played on the radio and reach a wider audience.” While Skuffed may be a little crisper and more listenable than past Japanther efforts, it’s still far from radio-rock, drenched in samples, feedback, and songs that are catchy in a way your mom still wouldn’t really like. At the same time, it’s an obvious improvement from a band that boast one of the most energetic live shows this continent’s basements have ever seen. "This is the third time we recorded with our friend Aron [Sanchez], and we keep passing on more responsibility to him,” says Vanek. "He made things sound a lot more crisp, which is interesting. That was a conscious decision that we all made. Aron actually works for Blue Man Group. He does sound for them. He’s one of those wizards.”

Sanchez’s wizardry is subtle on Skuffed, but it manages to bring out more of the band’s live energy without sacrificing sonic grit. Beyond slightly better production values, the album also sees a kind of cohesion from song to song that has never been a part of any Japanther record. "These 13 songs were all written at the same time, together. I think this album is a culmination of our experiences from travelling with this band for seven years.”