I’m not sure whether I should be looking for anything deep in this riotous celebration of surface - outside of a snigger at the odd caustic lyric - but regardless, Beets Limes & Rice is very good at setting certain, hoary old chord structures up, things that simply make you feel good.
The rush of being alive, eh? Of being young, of feeling your head explode with the clear mercurial potent of the dawn of the world’s morning. Or similar. Yep, it’s a Japanther LP, this one called Beets Limes & Rice. Now let me tell you before we go any further with this review that this band, despite their dumbass poses and shuffling, slightly narcissistic affectation, is clever. Clever like Johnny Richman or the Ramones. Clever like PG Wodehouse. The songs may be for the most part two minute paeans to the sort of navel gazing that is the preserve of Gilded Youth, and they may come at you at a rate of knots - thrown at you in an what I suspect is a deliberate attempt to blur the senses into one big sense of hyperactive abandon, or an ill-formed, unfocussed longing. But it’s smart. And it’s addictive and Japanther play their muse for all she’s worth. If you just accept what’s going on you’ll realise what good fun it all is, especially if you keep your sensations on a certain level. Japanther use various tricks to keep you in line, such as the beat, which the beat ticks along at a nervy, nerdy pace on tracks like Porcupine, Film Star Husband and Meet You Later. The lyrics are the usual relationship stuff too, funny enough to notice, light enough to discard with nary a care, albeit with sharp, quirky asides and reflections you can have a giggle at.
And of course, there are some good tunes here, tracks like the opener First of All and Light Love are charming shuffles that are sort of deliberately undercooked (it just makes you love them that little bit more), and Porcupine and Out of Body have clever melodies that the band look to repeat at any available opportunity. I’m not sure whether I should be looking for anything deep in this riotous celebration of surface - outside of a snigger at the odd caustic lyric - but regardless, Beets Limes & Rice is very good at setting certain, hoary old chord structures up, things that simply make you feel good.
So there you have it: permanently breathless and gambolling around to the sounds of overblown guitar fuzz, Japanther set out their wares like a sort fast food outlet. Like Febo, it’s akin to a wall of instant gratification, put the coin in and take your burger or croquette, it’s there, and it’ll only take a minute to eat, and there’s more if you keep repeating. Because it’s fun, stupid.