Dip into any scuzzy indie-punk dive right now, and you're bound to bump into a noise-rock two-piece. They seem to spawn out of beer-stained floors all over the place these days, so it's only a matter of time until the scene belches forth a duo with the potential to break out of sweaty basement shows and hyperbolic webzine reviews. Brooklyn's Japanther probably isn't that band, but they should be: Though they get as unhinged as Lightning Bolt, drummer-singer Ian Vanek and bassist-singer Matt Reilly smuggle inside their amp-destroying noise the sort of ebullient pop melodies the Bolt only hint at. Like the Ramones, these guys are candy-ass bubblegum fans for whom distortion is less a tool for confrontation than a product of environment. With time they may streamline their more extreme tendencies, which could yield thrilling results. For now, they revel in their compelling contradictions.


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