Kurt Cobain-endorsed group reconvene for stellar return
Beloved of Kurt Cobain, Half Japanese’s Jad Fair is a prolific artist whose four-decade career has included collaborations from both his side of the Atlantic (Yo La Tengo, Daniel Johnston) and ours (Teenage Fanclub, The Pastels). Combining the disarming naivety of Jonathan Richman and the raw grooves of The Velvet Underground, ‘Overjoyed’ finds a reconvened Half Japanese on bracing, emotionally direct form. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Fair comes up with hundreds of simple ways to celebrate his love (“Pretty good/Pretty great/Two thumbs up/First rate”). While the band’s long-standing interest in songs about monsters, vampires and zombies is absent, Fair’s yelps of enthusiasm and lightning-strike guitar could wake the dead.