Half Japanese Loud and Horrible

While the self-imploding no-wave scene was sweeping through New York’s musical underground like a nihilistic plague, David and Jad Fair were laying down some similar skronk in a Michigan bedroom. Between 1977 and 1980, the group expanded and began to properly exist. The out-of-print, 1980 classic, ½ Gentlemen / Not Beasts, made them the first band to release a three-record box set as a debut. Its follow-up, 1981’s Loud, featured the band at its largest (and arguably most effective) — a six-piece symphony of sexually frustrated chaos, replete with wailing saxophone. By 1982’s Horrible EP, the juggernaut was beginning to gracefully collapse in Captain Beefheart-like fashion and things were never quite the same again. This reissue compiles Loud and Horrible with two rare singles from the era, for a trying and abrasive 29-track collection that presupposes the modern no-wave madness of bands like Lenin I Shumov and Les Georges Leningrad. This is essential listening for no-wave fanatics and anyone who cites the Shaggs as geniuses. (Dr. Jim's)