BEST ROCK BAND Minneapolis 2004 - J.A.P.
The first time we saw Sweet J.A.P. singer Sho, he was flying face-first through the air in a swan dive, his nose headed straight for the drum kit. It wasn't his drum kit, mind you. In fact, it wasn't even his band playing onstage. You might say the music just moved him. Though if his music similarly moved us to launch ourselves into his band's percussion section, we'd surely get pummeled to death by the tendon-snapping, thighs-of-Thor thwack! that detonates J.A.P.'s bass drum pedal. With a three-chord guitar wallop played so fast you'd think whoever lost the race was condemned to Swiffer the 7th St. Entry bathroom with his tongue, the J.A.P. boys percolate with the pants-on-fire dynamism you felt at your first punk show. Or maybe Sweet J.A.P. were your first punk show, in which case we fear that it's too late. Their frenetic sing-screamed vocals and spasmodic dancing have already raised the bar too high. No other Japanese-Minnesotan acronymic punk band will ever show their faces in this town again.