Japanther - Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt [12 inch] (2008)

Wantage USA

You might call Japanther a fuzzy Brooklyn bass-'n-drums hipster combo, but I call it good ol' fashioned pop-punk. Underneath that NYC cool are simple, fun songs (like the Ramones!). Some of the tracks on the album Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt are broken up by humorous samples (like Dillinger Four!). It's a catchy collection of rapid-fire lo-fi jams (like the Dead Milkmen!). Just skip the lengthy spoken-word pieces by Penny Rimbaud of Crass 'cause they're just not fun or funny (unlike Anti-Flag's "This Is Not a Crass Song!").

That's right, Rimbaud, who also produced Tut Tut, dominates over half of the record's running time, emceeing the intro and outro, as well as two really boring, really long spoken-word tracks about "huh dja buh huh" and "Who shot who in the what now?". This guy can talk. Goodness gracious, he can just talk and talk on and on about any little thing in a great cavalcade perhaps the greatest cavalcade like it could literally bury you in an avalanche of pronouns and verbs and tenses that get confused about the truth for days without commas to guide them like a Shepard of Punctuation and you think if you could sleep yes sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-… you get the idea. Quite the ranter, he is. Rimbaud's distracting presence makes the album more of a split than a true full-length, as listeners actually only get seven Japanther jams that add up to about 15 minutes (of a 37-minute running time).

But man are they catchy, skuzzed out two-piece tunes. Opening salvo "Um Like Your Smile Is Totally Ruling Me Right Now" has a loose, rollicking quality that is second only to its successor, "Bumpin' Rap Tapes." That baby is one of the premiere love songs of the decade, asking the listener to call the band up any hour of the day, even if he or she "feel[s] like a creepy doll," so long as they tell Japanther those crucial, life-affirming words: "I love you."

Tut Tut isn't the best starting point for Japanther (Skuffed Up My Huffy requires way less skipping), but with the right amount of sequencing, it can make for a solid EP.