Half Japanese Reinvigorate Their Past on Spindly ‘We Cannot Miss’

After waiting 13 years to release a studio album, art-punk pioneers Half Japanese are back to their prolific habits of several decades ago, starting with 2014’s angular Overjoyed and continuing last year with the sinewy surprise EP Bingo Ringo, and members Jad Fair and Jason Willett’s collaborative full-length The Greatest Power. (The latter also appears on Matmos’ forthcoming experimental “washing machine album,” Ultimate Care II.)

This year sees yet another LP, Perfect, due January 22 via Joyful Noise. “We Cannot Miss” lassos tongue-twisting wordplay (“Holy smoke, holy cow! We demand this our now / This our now / This our then / Let the future now begin”) alongside blocky guitar chugs — interrupted by the occasional subdued squall — and a cowbell galloping beneath all the tightly syncopated noise. Check it out here via the accompanying video, featuring Fair’s hand-drawn animations of the lyrical bovine angels, along with one-eyed cats and loving trees.


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