Album: Adolescent Sex
Genre: Funk rock, glam, New Wave
Japan are instantly recognizable: a smooth baritone, Mick Karn’s fretless bass, and elegant electronic production. Elegant, intelligent pop by experimental gentlemen.
Now listen to “Adolescent Sex”. All-image glam funk, designed to adorn bedroom posters across the land. But is it any good?
Yes. This is a damn fine effort from the word go. Close your eyes, put on the opener “Transmission”, and I defy you to not imagine walking down a deserted street on the wrong side of the railway tracks, eyes on the floor, heading into a dive bar.
Richard Barberi’s subtle layers of keyboards underpin this record, as an as-yet-unrestrained Sylvian snarls his way through layers of effects.
Baby pictures, maybe, but the band are in their element throughout, with the cover of Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade” a standout.
In short: this is a record for sipping whisky to on a hot, dusty, summer’s evening as you watch disreputable characters stumble by on their sordid way.
David Sylvian hates this album now, but we respectfully disagree.
Recommended Tracks: Transmission, Lovers On Main Street, Adolescent Sex, Don’t Rain On My Parade
Reviewer: DJ Catnip (original review published in Vanitas #002)