13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Japanese Motors' debut opens up with a perfect day-at-the-beach tune, complete with handclaps, twangy guitars and a rhythm ideal for doing the Twist, but the rest of the album veers from twitchy, shambling garage rock (“B.N.E.”, an outstandingly raucous track) to classic, Strokes-inspired alt-pop (“Coors Lite,” “Spending Days”) to honest party-rock fueled by plenty of guitars, shakers, and tambourines (“Better Trends”). There are a few breezy, tropical moments, like “Regrets a Paradise,” with its bubbly, Afro-pop guitar picking and relaxed, bobbing vibe, and  “Interlude,” a luscious, lolling guitar piece with a strong ‘60s flavor that evokes clear, blue water. Front man Alex Knost has a voice that’s somewhere between “Passenger”-era Iggy Pop and the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, while overall the band has the good-humored party energy of early “college rock” bands like the Fleshtones and Camper Van Beethoven. Guitars chime and jangle, while the bottom end — both bass and drums, which includes some nice bongo work — find grooves that demand the moving of feet. With lyrics like “Now we wanna go to France, where we can not wear pants!”, the Japanese Motors are clearly out to show you a good time.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Japanese Motors' debut opens up with a perfect day-at-the-beach tune, complete with handclaps, twangy guitars and a rhythm ideal for doing the Twist, but the rest of the album veers from twitchy, shambling garage rock (“B.N.E.”, an outstandingly raucous track) to classic, Strokes-inspired alt-pop (“Coors Lite,” “Spending Days”) to honest party-rock fueled by plenty of guitars, shakers, and tambourines (“Better Trends”). There are a few breezy, tropical moments, like “Regrets a Paradise,” with its bubbly, Afro-pop guitar picking and relaxed, bobbing vibe, and  “Interlude,” a luscious, lolling guitar piece with a strong ‘60s flavor that evokes clear, blue water. Front man Alex Knost has a voice that’s somewhere between “Passenger”-era Iggy Pop and the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, while overall the band has the good-humored party energy of early “college rock” bands like the Fleshtones and Camper Van Beethoven. Guitars chime and jangle, while the bottom end — both bass and drums, which includes some nice bongo work — find grooves that demand the moving of feet. With lyrics like “Now we wanna go to France, where we can not wear pants!”, the Japanese Motors are clearly out to show you a good time.

TITLE TIME
4:22
3:53
2:02
2:30
1:03
3:06
2:43
2:50
1:30
4:01
3:46
3:49
13 3:26

About Japanese Motors

Equally inspired by Richard Hell and the Beach Boys, Costa Mesa, CA surf punks Japanese Motors formed in 2004 and soon became known for their immersion in surf culture and their raucous live shows. Singer Alex Knost is also a pro surfer who appeared in the surfing documentary Step into Liquid; he also rides for surf/art/lifestyle brand RVCA and worked in their art department. He met guitarist Nolan Hall when their fathers went surfing together; bassist Chris Vail and drummer Andrew Atkinson -- a former designer for Hurley -- make up Japanese Motors' rhythm section. With frequent, and frequently hedonistic gigs, the band evolved from doing Iggy Pop covers to releasing the single "Single Fins & Safety Pins" on Black Lips' Die Slaughterhouse label. Japanese Motors signed to Vice Records, who released a re-recorded version of Single Fins & Safety Pins in summer 2008 and their self-titled debut album that fall. ~ Heather Phares

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