Italian Japanese
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Italian Japanese

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"IJ Album Review"

The highly-anticipated album from the band brings a new sound that’s very polished and definitely on another level. The first song, “Jeremiah” is a great set-up to keep you listening. So many times we as the listener can be turned off by track number one and not bother to hear the remainder of the album. The title gives the illusion that the album is the soundtrack for a movie based on a book. The last track 9.11, “Ladybird” doesn’t signal the end, but a sequel. The songs’ beautiful melodies along with peaceful vocals can be compared to Coldplay or Death Cab for Cutie. However, Italian Japanese goes beyond the norm by fusing different genres with piercing instrumentals and futuristic metaphors.


"Album Review 2"

Album Review: After a much talked about impromptu performance at the 2008 South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX, these indie upstarts spent the remaining months crafting their debut release titled "The Lush, Romantic Weirdness." Full of melody, guitar effects and pounding rhythms, these 11 tracks will have you either singing or dancing along to an emotionally magical journey. Stand out tracks: Minus, Jeremiah, Le Pony.
- -David Douglas, Scene Magazine


Their debut album, "The Lush, Romantic Weirdness", is the future of indie music. Combining elements of folk, pop, electronic and dance, these California upstarts will have you tapping your toes while singing your woes. Don't take our word for it, listen to our push pick of the week LE PONY. - MTV.AU

"Album Review"

Sometimes, you can get a real feel for a certain group right off the bat. That is exactly the case here with Italian Japanese and The Lush, Romantic Weirdness. I can sense right away that this band has something special and that they will definitely be a smash hit within the music scene. Italian Japanese seem to have a perfect band chemistry along with an overall sound that is heavily appealing. So…what do you get when you blend together Italian & Japanese? Answer: Diversity, originality, musicianship & artistry in all its shining glory.
This LA-based alternative rock band consists of five members: Allen Nichols on lead vocals & guitar, Chris McLaughlin on keys & guitar, Justin Greene on drums, Sean Rodriguez on guitar, keys & sound effects and Noah Willis on bass. Allen & Chris are actually part of the original line-up and they are also the founders of Italian Japanese. The meaning behind the title of this record actually signifies the blood, sweat and tears that went into making this album and making this music work on all angles. After hearing The Lush, Romantic Weirdness in its entirety, I would say that these musicians have a lot to be proud of.
The CD starts up with some distorted background noise on “Jeremiah” that gives off a cool acoustic guitar sound to go along with powerful & melodic vocals. I was very impressed with Nichols’ vocal performance here because he sang with such feeling & energy throughout the recording. Lyrically, there was much to hear as well with many thought-provoking lyrics scattered amongst the 11 tracks. Some ear-catching words that struck my attention were: “Make you crash into a photograph” on “Polaroid You”, “Take out, take in the knife” and then the phrase “And she’s feeling so strong and so bright” on the title track was intentionally emphasized to prove a point. Turns out the purpose behind these highly focused words was geared toward having the courage to carry on when a relationship is over. Besides the singing & lyrics, the drums, guitar and sound effects added a wonderful dynamic toward the whole picture that is The Lush, Romantic Weirdness.
This group has such a cool vibe with a very catchy sound & rhythm. Their upbeat moments mix in perfectly with the element of rock that comes through loud & clear. Elements of pop are also detected as you’re hearing music you can groove to and think to. In the end, this whole record is full of moveable songs that provide strong meaning & purpose. MTV Australia PUSH called this new album “the future of indie music” and I couldn’t agree more! Italian Japanese have already toured all over the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Europe while even having the pleasure of sharing the stage with such acts as: Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Queens of the Stone Age and Vampire Weekend. Quick start for this talented bunch from Cali, but I feel you haven’t seen nothing yet! For more on Italian Japanese and their new release, The Lush, Romantic Weirdness, SKOPE out - Scope Magazine


The Lush, Romantic Weirdness LP - 2009




While most developing indie bands write their success stories in a typical, linear fashion, S.D./L.A. based alt rockers Italian Japanese keeps putting the proverbial cart before the horse�with incredible results. Even before the official release of their debut album The Lush, Romantic Weirdness to iTunes and other outlets, the collection debuted at #47 on CMJ�s Top 200 (with airplay on legendary L.A. station KROQ and two major stations in San Diego). While The Lush, Romantic Weirdness approaches two months in the Top 200, Italian Japanese is going beyond even the cultural borders of its clever moniker to places Down Under. MTV Australia PUSH recognized the album as �the future of indie music. Combining elements of folk, pop, electronic and dance, these California upstarts will have you tapping your toes, while singing your woes.�

This unusual road to renown isn�t surprising considering that band founders Allen Nicholas (lead vocals, guitar) and Chris McLaughlin (guitar, keys) did things a little out of sequence from the get go. Introduced to each other by a mutual musician friend, the two multi-talented singer/songwriters�who each had been playing in other bands for several years�hooked up at a taco shop in San Diego and began talking about animal rescue, veganism and music. With a mild contempt for corporate radio and a desire to create timeless and melodic music without boundaries, they began to collaborate almost immediately. Their collaborations continued as Allen moved to L.A.�s Silverlake area, and they began laying the groundwork for a possible album in his makeshift apartment studio.

When a friend who ran a stage at South By Southwest invited them to play, they put together a powerhouse backing band to perform there. Their SXSW set included rough original versions of �Minus� and �Le Pony,� which would eventually make it onto The Lush, Romantic Weirdness. Returning to L.A., the band which would ultimately be called Italian Japanese (after Allen�s unique dual ancestry) began developing their unique sound. Several false starts and personnel changes occurred before the chemistry and material was just right; producer Ryan Greene (Nofx, Jay-Z) helped put the finishing touches on their debut. Italian Japanese�s lineup now includes drummer Justin Greene, guitarist Sean Rodriguez (who also plays keys and creates effects) and bassist Noah Willis. Collectively, through past projects (Weatherbox, Lance's Hero, The Color Turning, Lucky 7), the members of Italian Japanese have performed across the U.S., U.K., Europe and Canada, appearing at such major music festivals as Reading, Leeds, Pinkpop, Puklepop, Rock Am Ring, Rock Am Park, Livid, Big Day Out, Terra Moto, Warped Tour, Bamboozle and numerous radio shows. They have shared bills with such superstar bands as Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Queens of the Stone Age and Vampire Weekend. Now building a following of its own, Italian Japanese has played such SoCal hotspots as the Silver Lake Lounge and Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles and the Hard Rock in San Diego; they also have an upcoming KROQ sponsored event at The Roxy.

Largely inspired by the band�s passion for film, the 11 songs on The Lush, Romantic Weirdness feature provocative lyrics that allow people�s imaginations to run wild and come up with unique visual imagery. The original version of the title track, a love song about having the courage to move on when you�ve had enough of a relationship, was created with a lot of electronic elements; Italian Japanese decided to scrap those original sessions in favor of a more organic, drum and bass driven vibe. Allen began writing the poignant ballad �Jeremiah� in the studio on the acoustic guitar while working on overdubs one day, waiting for Chris to come over; the melancholy flavor of the music inspired lyrics about Allen�s best friend Alex's little brother, who died of leukemia. Like many of the other songs, �Le Pony� is a spirited, uptempo song whose lyrics tackle a dark theme�in this case, being in a relationship with someone addicted to painkillers.