Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Japandroids

Perhaps the last, tardiest review of the Japandroids, Celebration Rock...up yesterday at Dusted.

Japandroids
Celebration Rock
Polyvinyl

Every summer needs a record like this. Never mind the arduous backstory, that Japandroids’ guitarist Brian King nearly died between Post-Nothing and its follow-up, that the band considered breaking up in the interim, or that it took three years to come up with eight tracks. None of that is on the record. This is the kind of easy, accessible, not-quite-guilty-pleasure rock and roll that sounds best blaring from open car windows late at night. Celebration Rock bashes and clangs and manically stutters out songs about breaking old bonds and heading out for the territories. As a subject matter, it may be clich├ęd, but only because almost everyone feels compelled, at some point, to do it.


Musically, Japandroids fall somewhere between the Hold Steady’s fists-in-the-air drinking anthems and the scrabble and splutter of No Age. There’s something of The Replacements in their rasp-edged, sloppy romanticism, a bit of Husker Du in the way they slip sing-along hooks into abrasive sonics. Though only a two-piece (King sings and plays guitar, while Dave Prowse plays drums), Japandroids manage to fill every crevice in the sound, with long-ringing power chords, prism-splintered strumming and punch-drunk, speed-crazed, fill-scrabbled drums. There’s not a lot of dead space here.

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