What a world we live in. Here in the year 2012 our lives have become almost completely digital. Even the music scene is now drenched in synths and drum machines and sample-based loops. Hell my favorite albums of the year (Grimes, Chromatics, Laurel Halo, & Death Grips) are all almost entirely without actual instruments. What happened to guitars? What happened to drums? Are we really so technology obsessed that we have forgotten rock and roll? Sometimes a reminder is necessary….
Japandroids carry a torch that is so often forgotten. Since ‘Kid A’ knocked everyone on their asses, the music world has taken a futuristic direction. Forgotten are the days of Zeppelin or The Smiths or Pavement, days of raw emotion expressed through guitar wails and drum solos and stage diving. Or so they seem to be forgotten.
‘Celebration Rock’ is a punch in the face, a brick through your window and, most importantly, a rock and roll album. From start to finish the Vancouver duo craft a garage/punk record actually worthy of obsessive repetitive listens. Since their first release, ‘Post-Nothing’, these two have shown a knack for sculpting high-energy, no frills, in-your-face rock anthems. What they have developed is more than a knack. As far as I’m concerned these guys are the best pure rock band around. In fact, ‘Celebration’ may very well end up topping many album of the year lists. It’s so tough not to dig the Japandroids sound. It’s tough because it IS so refreshing and because it DOES walk the line between fresh and classic. Keeping one foot in the internet age and the other in our dad’s record collection, Japandroids straddle separate times so gracefully. Like fellow indie rockers, No Age, The Hold Steady and Arctic Monkeys, Japandroids are influenced by past decades of rock stars. No doubt drawing inspiration from punk heroes and arena bands alike, creating that bigger than life but out of a bedroom sound. Their lyrics are classic and relevant no matter which decade you grew up in.
‘remember that night you were already in bed,
said “fuck it” got up to drink with me instead!’
Not saying these guys are poets or even fantastic lyricists, but what they sing about is real. Ideas they touch on never fade. I don’t think their message will ever fail to be universal:
Grow up but stay young
I am not going to highlight any tracks because that’s not fair. Each track deserves discussion. Every second of this brief (35 minutes) listen is enjoyable, infinitely entertaining. And in the end, isn’t that what music is designed to do? Entertain?
So take the record as it is. Take it as a party album. An album that increases your heart-rate before you go out for the night. A straight shot of amphetamine. ‘Celebration Rock’ is an album built around energetic nostalgia, fond memories of college parties and young mistakes.
‘Long lit up tonight!
Don’t we have anything to live for?
Well of course we do
But until they come true
And were still smokin!’
‘Celebration Rock’ was released this May through Polyvinyl and of course itunes.
Catch them at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest