Review Summary: Think Yndi Halda halved - We're From Japan! make songs that are half the length with (unfortunately) half the replay value, although there is plenty of potential on display.2 of 2 thought this review was well writtenWe’re From Japan!
– 48 Minutes, 7 Seconds, Then The Open Air
We’re From Japan!
are actually from Portland, Oregon. This means that their moniker is a lie, and lying makes me angry. Fortunately though, they play a brand of entirely instrumental, swelling, triumphant post rock (think along the lines of Yndi Halda
), and music like this makes me happy. Being simultaneously happy and angry makes me very confused, and being confused makes me depressed. Thankfully though, this quartet from Oregon is right there to pick me back up again, and with their 2005 release 48 Minutes, 7 Seconds, Then The Open Air
, We’re From Japan! have crafted an album full of glorious highs and soothing lows.
The opening track, Larsen b
, begins very quietly with some soft guitars and drumming, before growing and combining with other instruments to reach a glorious climax. While this might sound like a description of just about any of the multitude of generic modern post-rock bands around nowadays, We’re From Japan! separate themselves from the pack by jamming all of this into a track which is less than five minutes in length. The next track on the album, Extraneous Zoo Animal
, changes up the formula by starting off big – a screech of feedback is followed by a snaking guitar passage backed by the engaging but never intrusive rhythm section. This flows into a section where the percussion takes the forefront with some staccato beats, while the guitar fades into the background, and this is another area where We’re From Japan! are successful. They are able to integrate their instruments well with each other, and can swing the focus from one instrument to the next, until they all combine to reach an epic climax.
And so the rest of the album goes, swinging between explosive, guitar tinkering, drum pounding, violin screaming, piano weeping highs and guitar noodling, drum tinkering, ambient lows. Unfortunately though, for all of their tricks and change-ups, it’s still the same old post-rock band you’ve heard too many times before, and as a result, while the music is good, it becomes boring after a few listens. And so, We’re From Japan!’s 48 Minutes, 7 Seconds, Then The Open Air
ends up being simply a rung in a giant post-rock ladder; it’s somewhere slightly above the middle – and while this band have plenty of chances to climb up the ladder, they’re also at risk of simply dropping down into oblivion.
Three stars out of five
We’re From Japan! are:
Brian McIntyre: Guitar
John Reed Dunn: Guitar
Aaron Heuberger: Bass
Scott Smith: Drums
- JumpTheF**kUp (14th Review)