Thursday, May 24, 2012

Japandroids: "Celebration Rock" (album review)

On May 29th Vancouver's Japandroids will return with Celebration Rock, their highly-anticipated sophomore full length.

The duo won't disappoint existing fans as their relentless guitar squeal and fuzz are still present, as is their boundless energy.  New fans should be flocking to Japandroids' side as well.  By taking more care in fleshing out song structures, these tracks are made far more accessible to folks who may have been daunted by the sometimes impenetrable fortress of sound of the past.

The album kicks off with the boisterous "The Night of Wine and Roses", a cut that comes dangerously close to being a party rocker.  The same holds true for "Adrenaline Nightshift", one of the band's most toe-tapping tracks to date.

Japandroids rein themselves in on "Younger Us", with the contained energy making for an even more intense experience than they would've created if they had let themselves off the handle.  The concussive drums and dual vocal shout of "Evil's Sway" pound at you, but a sharp hook works the post-punk into your head.  "For the Love of Ivy" takes a rockabilly timing and applies it to the world of modern noise rock to surprisingly successful results.

The catchy, full throttle "The House That Heaven Built", is the underground hit in waiting that could very well be the heir to the band's breakthrough "Wet Hair".

In the end Japandroids have made the little tweaks necessary to improve their music without compromising any of the elements that got them where they are.  It's a feat not often accomplished, and they should be lauded for pulling it off.

Japandroids play Lee's Palace in Toronto on June 23rd.

Best tracks: "The House That Heaven Built", "

Track listing for Celebration Rock:
  • The Night 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

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