Sporting well-coordinated polo shirts and enthusiastic grins, emerging Vancouver based quartet JPNSGRLS (pronounced "Japanese Girls") hit the stage at Crazy Elephant in Singapore last week as part of the Music Matters LIVE festival, taking over Clarke Quay. It was easy to understand why they were so excited: a great crowd had gathered, there was a great deal of buzz about them at the event AND it was lead singer Charlie Kerr's twenty-third birthday! Good times.
The set kicked off with "Brace Yourself", off their forthcoming debut record Circulation (out July 15th), followed by the track "Smalls" - their latest single which you can listen to at the end of this article. The band are loose in a punk kind of way, and certainly have as much of the same energy, but are still a tight rock outfit - in an Arctic Monkeys kind of way. Climbing on tables and getting the crowd revved up is all in a days work for this band. But it just so happens they have the songs to back it up too.
They bring together some of the best music of the rock and punk genres - perhaps even without realising it - and put it all in a blender, and the result is JPNSGRLS. You can hear moments of The Hives (see their track "David and Goliath), of Presidents of the USA (one track in particular had a "Dune Buggy" vibe), indeed Arctic Monkeys and, funnily enough, The Unicorns, with their song "The Unicorn Song" that closed the set and seemed to be some sort of a spiritual sequel to the now seminal "I Was Born a Unicorn".
With fantastic energy, a charismatic frontman, a sound wholly their own and the music to back it all up - JPNSGRLS are a band to put on your "must watch" list.
For more information about the band, head to http://www.jpnsgrls.com/