Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reviews:: Japandroids Post Nothing

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April has already been a pretty stellar month in terms of quality Canadian releases, but one I’ve been waiting anxiously for is the full length from Vancouver’s Japandroids. It seems like I’ve been waiting for this record for years. It was supposed to be self-released sometime last year and even with two EPs, seeing them play countless times in Vancouver before moving, some serious love from the powers that be, and of course the fact Quinn over at From Blown Speakers has long since tried to get people excited about the duo, it still feels like the Vancouver band was constantly lost in the myre.

Well, as of April 28th you can grab Post-Nothing on vinyl or digital download, and I highly suggest you pick it up.

The band is a simple combination of huge drums, guitar and the sing/shouts of Brian King and David Prowse, but the end result is much, much more. The nine song album delivers anthem after anthem, with distorted guitar and crashing cymbals personify the rage of youth, but the melodies the guys deliver really show the emotion and reality we all face when it's time to grow up.

Vancouver's a tough fucking city; hidden underneath the beautiful mountains and Oceanside parks is poverty, one of the most astronomical costs of living in Canada and musically, a scene that constantly shifts to accommodate the venues that get bought up for more condos, and a weird sense of exclusion and pride when it comes to specific sounds and bands. I'm not trying to claim that Japandroids could be the glue that holds it all together (even if they do rep the scene well on Rockers East Vancouver) - if anything, I'd say that it would probably be harder for them to fit into the heavy noise scene or the more straight ahead rock pockets scattered around town - but they might just be the noise outfit that gets out and gets noticed.

"We used to dream, now we worry about dying."

It would be so easy to dismiss the thoughts Dan and Brian offer up, if they weren't so real and already running around most of our minds. In the same way Joel Plaskett documented the confusion and loneliness of leaving, this Vancouver duo makes us think about what happens when the simple things we all took for granted start to disappear and we get stuck when everyone else seems to leave. We all grow up, grow apart and most importantly we all change, but everyone goes through that change at different times. Post-Nothing seems like the bible for those years where we are wondering whether to hold on as tight as possible or let go and accept the inevitable fall.

The huge drum fill and crunching guitar they give us on Wet Hair pushes along a simple adolescent fantasy - "we can french kiss some French girls" - and you remember that not too long ago, nights when hooking up and making out with a stranger you meet at a party or in a crowded bar were all you thought about. For me those days for me happened in the 90's and that's where this sound would have fit perfectly, but the great thing about Japandroids is they realize that youth fades and that simple, biting fact makes these songs more that a nostalgic look back at days that probably weren't all that good to begin with. More importantly, that reality is what makes this record so damn good.

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Posted at 10:00 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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