Obscure Alternatives - Japan (Ariola)
apan, from Great Britain, sounds like a forced marriage between Mott the Hoople and Booker T and the MG's, and they look like holdouts from the glitter rock movement. They don't impress me too much, though I suspect that their attempt to revive various teenage wasteland cliches will make many listeners think of The Who at their best (Who's Next). The smart ones will realize that they've heard this jive before and done better at that. Rock and roll at this volume and swagger is all posturing jive, guitars, and chest hairs front and center, all of which means that its driving force is stupidity, the resolute confidence of the hard-macho dunce plunging ahead into grotty behavior with cliches and erections as the sum total of a world view. But even here there are those bands that do it better and who seem to back their skewed morality with some reading, D.H. Lawrence to Ayn Rand. I say that with the need to believe that some of our dumb rock stars can at least read.
Simpering love-lorn rock and roll mannerisms aimed straight at the heartstrings. Marc Tanner has one of those whispering, overly sensitive crooning voices that send an annoying shiver down your spine, a voice coated in self-pity, fake piety, and hallow insight. Tanner reminds one of the kinds of "liberated male" ·who, though willing to "deal" with his feelings more openly than his more hard-shelled comrades, remains an unchanging pit of preconceived notions of how he wants his social relations to go. I suspect that Tanner may have attended some male "consciousness-raising" groups not to grow as a human being but to secure a new batch of sure lire pick-up lines. In other words, I rarely trust singer-songwriters who are this nakedly "open," The reason I'll put up with Paul Simon or James Taylor is that they hold back. I respect anyone who'll tell me that there are matters that are none of my business. Tanner bears all because he's on the make. If you must buy
this, keep a box of tissue at hand to blow the poor boy's nose.