Japandroids – Celebration Rock Japandroids – Celebration Rock

It has been difficult first half of 2012. Music which once interested me has been drying up. The bands which I once annoyed friends with now are carcasses littered on dusty interstates. This is what happens when you leave a genre and then return to find a ghost town and the skeletons of bands you once loved. I have been searching for anyone, any sign of civilization in the low lands of rock. I have been wandering these foothills for a champion of guitar driven rock to quench a desire for emotionally charged, exceptional yet understated sub mainstream music. That’s right, I dislike using the term “indie rock” because that phrase now describes a place which now lays in ruins. I couldn’t tell you when the ground went sour but the music I once loved and identified with has gone. We have all moved on. This is why I am enjoying the fuck out of Japandroids.

To be honest, I never really enjoyed Post-Nothing. I heard it once on the recommendation of everyone including my parish priest. I thought it was noisy, dark, and grand. I wish I would have listened to it more. Japandroids, as everyone has known and that I would eventually learn, is a two piece Canadian outfit which has done wonders in the arena of simple yet effective rock and roll. Channeling the spirits of 60’s garage to exorcise noise rock’s poltergeists, this band presents music which clips the back of your ears at 40 miles per hour.

While a small aspect of recording, Celebration Rock is stated to be recorded live with no overdubbing or double tracking. While somewhat inconsequential, the music on this record feels authentic and genuine as if easily supplanted to a live setting. There are no qualifiers, exceptions, or bullshit between the listener and the music. The chord anthems from Brian King and the gang vocals yelled in unison with drummer David Prowse come in raw form. The production aspect works so well when the music is so bright and hopeful. This is ore mined from the hills which is heavy and rough but ultimately priceless.

Compared to Post-Nothing, (that is right, I did listen to it) Celebration Rock is more of a (…well) celebration. Where once moody rumination constructed noisy darkness, the same sprit has turned optimistic leaving music meant for destruction yet in the spirit of jubilation. Through synthesis and artful expression a conclusion is reached. Few times have I heard a message ring so incredibly clear. I believe some of the best records are ones which coincide with the listeners frame of reference. Celebration Rock is exactly what needs to be said at this very moment. Not with whispers or obfuscated murmurings but with a brick through a goddamn windshield. I feel so elated, I want to punch the heavens.

My enjoyment for Celebration Rock fittingly coincides with my new love for old rockabilly music. I only bring up the later as Japandroids do wonders with a bare atmosphere and fill every basement corner with sound. The direction navigated by Elvis Presley, Wayne Walker, and Bill Flag is played with near perfect exuberance. Songs like “For The Love of Ivy” and the whiskey fueled anthem “Adrenaline Nightshift” do nothing but celebrate boundless energy and the bevy of emotions which inhabit restless minds. this is music for the best and bright as well as the beaten and broken.

I always disliked hearing people talk about the death of a certain genre which suspiciously coincides with the time when they stopped caring about new music. I am sure indie rock has a long and fruitful history. I’m sure these ruins can be rebuilt. Celebration Rock has not only been a pleasure listened to as an album but as an idiosyncratic celebration of graduation. I feel like I can rest now. I feel that some sense of closure has been reached which The Suburbs only halfway did. It is time to hit the dusty trails for kin of the harsher and more dissonant nature. Goodnight cowpokes, I’ll see you on the other side of darkness.

Celebration Rock Tracklist:

The Nights Of Wine And Roses
Fire’s Highway
Evil’s Sway
For The Love Of Ivy
Adrenaline Nightshift
Younger Us
The House That Heaven Built
Continuous Thunder

Japandroids @ Echoplex 6-15 Pictures by Ben Irwin

Japandroids - Celebration Rock, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2012-06-19T09:57:15-07:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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