Jad Fair


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One of the claims Jad Fair and Jason Willett's old group Half Japanese made was that they released more albums than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined. The pair sure are prolific songwriters, although the term "song" always sounds a bit awkward when it comes to their noisy anthems. Well, Superfine adds -- count 'em -- 155 songs to their book! The album itself consists of 20 tracks and is 44 minutes long. But an enhanced portion of the disc contains 135 bonus songs in MP3 format, for a total duration of over five hours. And each piece is as screeching, entertaining, and disposable as the others -- and that's what makes the music of this duo worth hearing. Willett seems to be endlessly resourceful, playing all kinds of instruments (including but not limited to all kinds of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, and noise-makers), assembling his tracks to create an infernal clitter-clatter. His mutating noise pop is full of surprises on its own. Fair adds his rants (spontaneous or not, maybe it's better we don't know), delivered through cheap microphones to give them an enhanced sense of urgency. His topics go from the trivial ("Movies," "Big Star") to degenerate fake love songs ("Candy Kisses" and a bunch of tracks titled with girl names) and a fascination for cheap sci-fi and horror ("Devil Girl from Mars," "The Crab Monsters"). Fans of the band will already have noticed a strong similarity with the group's previous effort, 1999's Enjoyable Songs. The truth is, the recipe has not changed, there is just a lot more of it to chew. Fun, irreverent or puerile? You will have to figure that out for yourself.