Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Review of Japandroids’ Celebration Rock
Maoya BassiouniHaving made up my mind about the whole wave of garage-bred, white-noise, guitar-drum duos that seemed to saturate the scene a few years ago before even hearing Japandroids – three guesses what I decided about said wave, first two don’t count – they didn’t stand much chance of winning me over. And while I won’t deny their debut Post-Nothing had a certain charm within all the fuzz, it wasn’t enough to make a lasting impression. Which is why on first hearing their new one Celebration Rock, out today, I needed to ask someone – anyone – if they’d always sounded like this.
And by “this”, I mean like Hüsker Dü covering The Hold Steady. It’s a reductive description, sure, but the more I listen to Celebration Rock the more accurate I feel it is. To the former reference point, it’s a compact, intense, and driving nine songs over 35 minutes that’s intent on shredding drum skins, guitar strings, and vocal cords in a manner that the legendary hardcore trio would surely approve. To the latter, they may still rehearse in a garage but with the fist pump-friendly choruses, odes to partying, and singalong “oh oh oh oh” lyrics, they’re aiming to bring the roof down at the local bar. Or arena. The duo may hail from Vancouver but their hearts belong to the Twin Cities.
Celebration Rock is big, unapologetic rock that manages to feel both vitally youthful and nostalgic at the same time while more than succeeding at its titular mission statement of making the kids freak out. It’s hard to say exactly what kind of shelf life it will have – records that rely on full-on intensity from start to finish have a tendency to exhaust after a while – but the only way to find out is to keep it turned up loud and set to repeat. No problem there.
Japandroids play Lee’s Palace on June 23. DIY, Spinner, and Pitchfork have interviews with the band and NPR is streaming the album in whole right now – the US release is next week, it was only released today in Canada to make it Polaris Prize-eligible. It may prove to be a wise move.
Coeur de Pirate warms up for hsr show at The Opera House on June 1 with an in-store at Sonic Boom the night before, that’s May 31, at 7PM. The Georgia Straight also has an interview with Beatrice Martin.
With her June 2 date at The Music Hall supporting Great Lake Swimmers just about here, Cold Specks has announced her own headlining date on August 8 at The Great Hall with Snowblink supporting; tickets are $15 in advance. The National Post and Shaw Connect have interviews with Al Spx while CBC Radio 3 talks to her about her songwriting process.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse have another two videos out for Americana, out next week but streaming in whole at Rolling Stone right now. Meanwhile, Exclaim has details on some forthcoming retrospective releases that aren’t music – the Jonathan Demme-directed documentary Neil Young Journeys will get a theatrical release on June 29 and Neil’s memoirs Waging Heavy Peace will be released on October 2.
Stream: Metric – “Speed The Collapse”
Like The Wooden Sky but hate their songs? Well you may be a freak, but your ship has come in – the band are playing an all-covers show at The Burroghes Building on June 15 as part of a benefit for Dream.Love.Cure; tickets are $10 in advance, details at Facebook. And Paste has premiered the final installment of their “Grace On A Hill” video series – forewarned, they’re playing their own songs.
Stream: No Joy – “Junior”