“Hello” is quite an apt name for the new Half Japanese album considering it has been 4 years since their last album. But, it hasn’t been a complete absence since their driving force and principle songwriter Jad Fair has released a dozen new albums in that time under different monikers or together with different bands, such as Jad Fair & Yo La Tengo, Adult Rodeo, Jad & Jason, Strobe, Jad & Kramer, and soon there will even be a Jad Fair & Teenage Fanclub release. But, the last 2 Half Japanese albums came out in 1997 one of which was “bonehead” on Alternative Tentacles.
Jad Fair is an international ambassador of rock’n’roll. He really doesn¹t have a “home” since he is continually travelling around playing live in various line-ups or recording with friends in Switzerland, Canada, Portugal, Scotland, Spain(we will be releasing at least one of those latest collaborations in mid-2001) and you name it! And his main band, Half Japanese – that he formed with his brother David over 20 years – is continually listed high in the “all time cult bands” charts and is touted internationally. There is even a documentary about the band well worth checking out entitled “The Band That Would Be King”. Drag City recently (mid-2000) re-issued 2 Half Japanese albums and in Japan there are already “greatest hits” albums.
“Hello” is an excellent mix of what Half Japanese are all about : eclectic indie-rock maliciously deviating from standard chord structures, nerd-punk diatribes, and beautiful love songs dripping in maple syrup. The line-up this time features : John Sluggett – guitar, keyboards; Gilles Riederdrums; Jason Willett – bass, guitar, keyboards; Rob Erickson – guitar, backing vocals; Dallas Good guitar; Jad Fair – vocals, guitar. It was recorded in Toronto at Hallamusic by Nick Holmes.