The point where, surprisingly, New Wave morphed into...art? Could it be? My trusty Trouser Press notes:
In one of rock's most remarkable examples of bootstrapping, South London's Japan pulled themselves up from lowly beginnings as a ludicrously overdressed glam-punk-pose band who (badly) emulated the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper to finish, five years later, as one of England's most sophisticated art-rock outfits, earning the respect of their peers and branching out into such fields as sculpture and photography. . . Tin Drum presents Japan at peak form, playing subtle creations with intricate rhythms and tightly controlled dynamics. Spare but strong drumming (abetted by Karn's rubbery bass) provides needed propulsion, and the breadth of influences — from Middle Eastern to funk — color the music a number of fascinating shades. Having almost totally escaped pop constraints, Japan's sound here — except for a few tunes (especially "Ghosts") that strongly resemble latter-day Roxy Music — is a willowy fabric of interwoven threads.
"A willowy fabric of interwoven threads." I thought I heard hissing summer lawns.
Japan - The Art of Parties (Mp3)
Japan - Talking Drum (Mp3)
Japan - Still Life in Mobile Homes (Mp3)
Japan - Visions of China (Mp3)
Japan - Sons of Pioneers (Mp3)