For the past three years there’s been a rumbling just slightly beneath the surface of Vancouver, BC’s live music scene. Maybe it’s not a rumbling, but more of a sound; a specific sound that cannot be placed in a genre rack at the local record store. That spark you hear, that riff you live for, that beat that incites melees, is Japanese Girls (JPNSGRLS); a force that has railroaded over the prejudices and assumptions made by even the most uninitiated music fans. And now, finally… their raucous, stage sound has been captured on an album.
Powered by the thick drum lines of Graham Serl, the growling bass of Chris McClelland, the machine that is Oliver Mann’s guitar playing and the dynamite frontman duties of Charlie Kerr, Japanese Girls have successfully translated their legendary live show to a recording on their new album The Sharkweek EP. The five-song release was recorded over a year in a variety of different DIY locations including (but not limited to) the living rooms of their friends and families. “It’s an eclectic, energetic mix of something for everyone” states a clearly excited Kerr. “We just recorded the songs the way they sound live and then experimented with things we couldn’t do live, like having multiple guitar tracks and vocal harmonies and instruments we didn’t usually play. For example, ‘Friday The Thirteenth’ was created entirely in the studio using keyboards which we’ve never really played around with. We were all trying out different things and getting out of our punk rock, live show comfort zone.”
While fans will be satiated by everything they’ve come to expect from the band, new listeners can expect to bob their heads and sing along to the catchy record which tells stories unique to Vancouver, a city Charlie Kerr has more pride in than the Boss does Jersey. “Vancouver’s weather forces artists of all kinds to stay inside and be productive in that hermit headspace and work on their art because they can’t hit the beach”, Kerr muses. “I believe that the rain is responsible for some of our best songs.”
The Sharkweek EP is about to solidify Japanese Girls as a team of powerful players, not just on stage, but on headphones, and through car speakers. With this finished product, there’s no stopping a band that is completely devoted to going all the way with this. “I want kids to scrawl our band name and song lyrics and shit on their notebooks and backpacks and stuff. The minute I see someone who has Japanese Girls written in sharpie on both of their Chuck Taylors I’ll know that this was not for naught.”
- "Vancouver Grizzly"
- "Monarch Butterfly"
- "Friday the 13th"