japanther3-min

By: Blake Martz

Japanther put on the tape saturated drugged up show they’re known for at Soda Bar on Sunday night (2/2/14) concluding their west coast show dates. They head to LA to do a set on KXLU tonight before they’ll presumably be heading back to Brooklyn until their east coast tour in March.

I got there just in time to catch the start of Cheap Time. On their Facebook they describe themselves as “progressive glitter punk.” That’s pretty right on. There’s moments of punk and moments of garage thrashing. The three piece outfit ran an unrelenting tight set. Every outro jerked into the next intro. Post punk repetition and glam rock guitar leads had all the kids at Soda shaking and ready for Japanther.

Japanther drummer and lead vocalist Ian Vaneka took the stage and poured water over his naked chest before plowing straight into their set. Famously singing into telephone receivers the two piece immediately got the crowd dancing with their lo fi brand of punk. For a band thats been doing it as long as they have (10+ years) and is well known for their ability to instigate massive chaos, the audience wasn’t as big or as chaotic as I anticipated. “We came here to have fun,” Ian told the crowd in one of their brief pauses (before cackling like a hyena like he would continue to do for the rest of the set). And they did have fun, starting a small, hedonistic head-shaking riot-party. “Beautiful San Diego. Such a weird fucking town… you know.” A cassette player onstage played distorted samples, beats and synth melodies as they wildly and sometimes barely played along. Matt Reilly bounced around playing fuzz bass and singing in a trance all night with a large crystal amulet swinging from his neck, the only thing keeping him rooted to Earth. There were plenty of cameras to go around, everybody filming and shooting in HD with their massive dslr’s. At one point I wondered if half the crowd was there just to cover it. But everyone was having fun and they kept up great energy even if they’re just following the buzz.