Album: Celebration Rock
Label: Polyvinyl Record Co.
Drum and guitar duos are a dime a dozen lately. You can always tell when you’re listening to one, the musicians are spread too thin and trying to do too much to make up for it and the whole thing becomes washed out noise. A good drum and guitar duo though, à la White Stripes and Death from Above 1979, embrace the simplicity and the lo-fi of the dynamic and rub it in the face of all the synth-laden sixpiece bands. That being said, those bands get away with it because they do something else really really well, and while I like Celebration Rock, and not really sure what that something is for the Japandroids.
The album is definitely a lot of fun, completely dedicated to being young, literally on “Younger Us,” and acting like consequences aren’t a thing. From the joys of drinking and smoking in “The Nights of Wine and Roses” to Brian King singing: “And if they try to slow you down/ Tell them all to go to hell” in the anthemic single “The House that Heaven Built,” the album has all the optimism and assured sensibilities of a high school senior. They don’t hold anything back, but they don’t try anything too fancy either. Broad chords and good progression backed by solid, simple and high energy drumming that will have you re-enacting the beats on your steering wheel. The album only has eight tracks, but it works as the perfect vessel to deliver the energy of the songs without them becoming repetitive. On that note though, it could probably be played alongside the last Japandroids album Post-Nothing without any noticeable difference, making it more a question of how long they can string along this joyfull teenage rebellion angle before it gets tired.
Maybe I’m too cynical to really embrace the ideals and themes that run through the whole of the album.Half the fun of something like this is feeling that same feeling of invincibility that you used to have, and Japandroids definitely have that down in their music.