Release Date: Aug 4, 2009
Record label: Polyvinyl/Unfamiliar
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Lo-fi is a ridiculous genre. To think that an entire class of music can be defined by how it is recorded is a testament to how far rock music has stretched itself. Most of these lo-fi artists, artists who are allegidly creating something new in rock music, are nothing more than punk bands with extra fuzz and a Sonic Youth fetish. The recent surge in buzz-rock is all the proof anyone needs that history repeats itself.
Disliking teen-pop gets you cast as some sort of rockist Luddite these days, but beyond the fact that most of it doesn't sound like stuff I'd have wanted to hear as a high schooler, it doesn't feel like music for teens either. (Hell, it's more tween-pop than teen-pop anyway. ) But what about the kind of stuff that, say, the "1979" video lionized-- breaking into your folks' liquor cabinet, obliterating the speed limit despite just getting your learner's permit, leaving your hometown for the first time and discovering how small it feels.
Brian King and David Prowse's fuzz-drenched melodic duo, Japandroids, doesn't appear to be part of Vancouver's weird punk movement, which is a good thing, because those bands are mostly un-listenable. [rssbreak] Japandroids, however, are indeed a shouty punk band from Van but play with a heartfelt dose of 90s alt charm that will surely gain them No Age comparisons when, really, they're more like Built to Spill with fewer members. Post-Nothing is their eight-song debut, and it goes by in a flash of infectious, sweaty anthem jams about angsty youth problems, as on the track Sovereignty, where King sings, "It's raining in Vancouver, but I don't give a fuck." You can't bring these guys down.
A quick glance at the cover art of Post-Nothing, the first LP proper from Vancouver duo Japandroids (JPNDRDS), alone provides a perfect snap-shot of the chronically adolescent, but no less genuine world of would-be fantasy that is about to be entered. In the image on the cover, guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse gently cradle each other with all of the hipster detachment that would be expected but none of the irony. It’s like a bromance in LP form.
On the face of it, Vancouver’s Japandroids should prove an inspiration to every fat, underachieving rock slob under the sun. You see, Brian King and David Prowse are - in some respects - patently just a couple of schlubs who wanted a fun, dumb rawk out, as a fun, dumb rawk band. Only, they couldn't be bothered to assemble the personnel required to do so, the recruitment drive stalling with one very large distortion peddle and the pair's decision to 'sing' themselves.
The cacaphonous bursts of garage-rock fuzz on this young Vancouver duo’s third album are the stuff of a thousand beer-soaked basement parties — shambolic, sweaty, and happily unrefined. The title may claim Post-Nothing-ness, but the band’s antecedents are clear: Early alt stars from Hüsker Dü to Mudhoney raise their hairy heads throughout, though Japandroids seem happier to summon a bashing racket than explore the possibility of real melodies. Still, when they howl on ”Young Hearts Spark Fire,” ”You can keep tomorrow/After tonight, we’re not going to need it,” it sounds like a welcome invitation.
Japandroids represent the latest addition to the ever-expanding lineage of two-piece bands that have sprung up this decade in the wake of the White Stripes and Black Keys. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based duo has already received a considerable amount of acclaim in its short existence, but its latest release Post-Nothing proves that the praise is not misdirected. Sonically, the band falls somewhere between forebears like No Age and Death from Above 1979—a virile combination of passion and grandiosity that sounds much larger than the guitar/drums instrumentation implies.
Strapping and excited; young with grand, swelling hearts. The lore of chasing after the one you love without a care in the world. The ensuing ‘catch’ and how it made everything and anything feel entirely possible and quite easy, at that. The inevitable crash, the downpour of feelings and the expression of this.