Album Review: Japandroids’ “Celebration Rock”
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If the Japandroids were to win a high school superlative, it would be “most improved.” Their sophomore album, Celebration Rock has much to, well, celebrate – they’ve found the secret formula for garage rock that lends itself accessible to the masses.
The Canadian duo’s 2009 release of Post-Nothing was lacking…something. The lyrics were all over the place, and the lo-fi shouting over sometimes monotonous (but loud) electric guitar felt disconnected. On Celebration, however, they have found the je ne sais quoi they were missing. In eight tracks, Brian King and David Prowse have created a balanced energy that is both palpable and tight.
The songs don’t just flow together, they fuse. The dead air between tracks is just enough time to catch your breath before the next frenetically paced tune strikes. Each song has an optimistic intensity but a take no prisoners attitude. The vocals are cohesive in their combined shouting and fuzziness; it’s also worth noting that while the drums are fast and the guitar is furious, the music does not overpower the vocals. You’ll “shout like hell to the heavens” right along with them.
If the Japandroids’ in-studio ascendency carries over into their live performance, those who’ve scored tickets to tonight’s sold out gig at the Bowery Ballroom are going to have their proverbial socks rocked off.
–Written by Holly Louise Perry