Friday 17 May 2024

Japandroids

Post #1200 in our 12th year. I was admittedly dragging my feet trying to figure out what band to use to mark this milestone, because I didn't another gargantuan undertaking like The Replacements and Jimmy Eat World were. Down the line both bands I was considering will still get that treatment (Sleater-Kinney and the Descendents, for the two of you wondering), but as soon as this band popped into my head, I knew I had found the perfect gateway back to posting. Like I said earlier, this blog has been running for 12 years, which coincides with the same number of summers Celebration Rock has been the soundtrack to. With the May 24 weekend upon us (hola Canada), Japandroids season is in session.

Japandroids are two-piece rock/alternative/punk band from Vancouver, British Colubmia that formed in 2006. Since their inception, their sole two members have been guitarist/vocalist Brian King and drummer/vocalist David Prowse. They self-released two EP's in their earlier years (which were later compiled as No Singles) before self-producing their debut full-length, Post-Nothing. The band almost called it quits, but thanks to the online traction that their debut picked up, they ended up embarking on a world tour following its release. It's unsurprising that their sound caught on so quickly, as their energy is positively infectious. In brief summary, they lay a base of noisy garage rock with pounding drums and huge, Hüsker Dü-esque guitars that shimmer with reverb and high-end melodies, while droning open strings to fill in the bass end. While that covers their exterior, these songs at their core take influence from the blue-collar, bleeding heart, youthful exuberance, and personal storytelling of someone like Bruce Springsteen, which is what elevates these songs to become anthems of fist-pumping hot summer nights.

While I do love their debut (try listening to "Wet Hair" without smiling), it was their sophomore release that put them in the stratosphere. The aptly titled Celebration Rock is 8 cuts of giddy euphoria, from the crackle of fireworks and anything-is-possible introduction of "The Nights Of Wine And Roses" to the hesistantly assured closer of "Continous Thunder", I've always thought that this thing takes place over the span of that one night everyone wants to re-live forever. I'm not going into it too much, but if you're unfamiliar with this band, please start with this.

Following another huge tour in the wake of their massively successful sophomore album, the band were quiet for a few years until their date (and final to date) album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life. This one features a lot more studio and production tinkering than anything they had done before, resulting in a cleaner sound compared to their off-the-floor-style recordings of their early years. I prefer the first two albums personally, though still think this is a solid addition to expand the Japandroids canon. During the tour for this album, they recorded their show at Toronto's Massey Hall, which was released back in 2020 as a live album, and unfortunately that's the last we've heard from them. As a quick note to go complete the discography breakdown, they recently a series of singles throughout their tenure, most being album tracks on the A-side and covers on the B-side, which choices shows their wide array of influence. The only non-album single cuts are "Heavenward Grand Prix" and "Art Czars", if you're just looking for their originals. In closing, this is music meant for blaring out the car speakers, windows down on a sunny day. Nothing but an open highway around you, and all the time in the world ahead of you. Enjoy.

1. The Boys Are Leaving Town
2. Young Hearts Spark Fire
3. Wet Hair
4. Rockers East Vancouver
5. Heart Sweats
6. Crazy/Forever
7. Sovereignty
8. I Quit Girls

1. Art Czars
2. Racer-X (Big Black cover)

1. Darkness On The Edge of Gastown
2. No Allegiance To The Queen
3. Sexual Aerosol
4. Lovers/Strangers
5. Lucifer's Symphony
6. Couture Suicide
7. Avant Sleepwalk
8. Coma Complacency
9. To Hell With Good Intentions (Mclusky cover)
10. Press Corps

1. Younger Us
2. Sex And Dying In High Society (X cover)

1. Heavenward Grand Prix
2. Shame (PJ Harvey cover)

1. The House That Heaven Built
2. Jack The Ripper (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cover)

1. The Nights Of Wine And Roses
2. Fire's Highway
3. Evil's Sway
4. For The Love Of Ivy
5. Adrenaline Nightshift
6. Younger Us
7. The House That Heaven Built
8. Continuous Thunder

1. Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
2. North East South West
3. True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will
4. I'm Sorry (For Not Finding You Sooner)
5. Arc Of Bar
6. Midnight To Morning
7. No Known Drink Or Drug
8. In A Body Like A Grave

1. Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
2. Love --> Building On Fire (Talking Heads cover)

1. North East South West
2. Fire In The Western World (Dead Moon cover)

Massey Fucking Hall (2020)
1. Intro: Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
2. Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
3. Fire's Highway
4. Heart Sweats
5. Arc Of Bar
6. Intro: Younger Us
7. Younger Us
8. North East South West
9. The Nights OF Wine And Roses
10. Intro: No Known Drink or Drug
11. No Known Drink or Drug
12. Continous Thunder
13. Young Hearts Spark Fire
14. Sovereignty
15. Intro: The House That Heaven Built
16. The House That Heaven Built

3 comments:

  1. You're kidding right? You have the best blog ever, thank you so much for everything. Happy anniversary!! Also, can you write more about bands that have incredible lyrics more often? I would love that

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool band. Each album is better than the previous one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for everything you do!! I love this blog. It's literally the only one I've come back to for over a decade. It makes me so happy every time I see a new post!!

    ReplyDelete