Reviews:: Japandroids No Singles

Not surprisingly, talking about bands that truly invoke the heartbeat of their city resulted in my digging through my pile of promo discs to find the re-issue of Japandroids first two EPs, lovingly titled No Singles. The rise to fame for the East Van two-piece might feel meteoric since Pitchfork deemed them worthy, but Brian and and Dave have been grinding for years, playing in some of the smallest (and hottest - temperature I mean) venues the city has to offer.


Polyvinyl made the wise decision to re-package the band’s first two, LONG out-of-print EPs and really… thank god. Not because the material on either EP is legendary or ground-breaking; no, both Lullabye of Death Jams and All Lies pale in terms of the success of Post Nothing, but they still show the power and naive youthfulness that have become the band’s defining characteristics. I was still in Vancouver when Japandroids were starting to take off, and even though they played shows non-stop, it wasn’t until Quinn gave away “Darkness on the Edge of Gastown” as part of the N-site compilation that I could listen to the band when they weren’t on stage.


And for me, that’s why No Singles is essential. Sure, you could say that some of the songs are too long, go nowhere and lack the chords/tension that the duo perfected on Post Nothing, but I’d point you to the smoking cover of “To Hell With Good Intentions”, offer that Brian and Dave have learned the importance of brevity and tell you at the time, this unpolished two-piece was becoming the face of Vancouver music each and every time they played a sweaty show. To think they got to where they did from these songs is mind-blowing in retrospect, but at the time these two EPs were proof that Vancouver’s scene was blossoming even as venue after venue closed its doors. To think this band that first had shows full of start and stops and songs built on one chord could make the jump to playing huge festivals is inspiring, and this collection of songs highlighting those auspicious roots is one you should have in your need to own.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

MP3:: Japandroids - Darkness on the Edge of Gastown



This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 at 8:02 am and is filed under Canada, Japandroids, Music, Reviews, Uncategorized, Vancouver. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply