Review: Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Published on June 28th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Listening to “The Nights of Wine and Roses”, the opening track of Japandroids’ third album Celebration Rock, Rocksucker was struck by its big fuzzy guitars, semi-shambolic drumming, rough ‘n’ raucous vocals, hedonistic lyrics and general air of mischievous revelry. Indeed, as Homer Simpson chuckled while slumped on his couch watching Barney the Dinosaur singing “two plus two is four!” on television: “Hehehe. I can see why THIS is so popular.”
It’s pretty good, we guess, but you may find yourself wondering whether this Vancouver duo’s racket lands closer to …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead… or Andrew W.K. in the grand scheme of making a bloody racket. “Fire’s Highway” flaunts some heartily rasping “woooo-oooaaahh!” backing vocals and neat lyrics such as “She’ll kiss away your gypsy fears / And turn the restless nights to restless years”, while the aptly-titled “Adrenaline Nightshift” brings a nocturnal sort of grime to the chant-along fun.
The power-pop blasts keep on coming: “Younger Us” verges on Sonic Youth territory, “For the Love of Ivy” threatens to “…buy me a graveyard of my own / And kill everyone who ever done me wrong”, while rousing-yet-ruminative closer “The House That Heaven Built” pleases Rocksucker by rhyming ‘prairie’ with ‘wary’, before bringing things to a close with: “If I had all of the answers / And you had the body you wanted / Would we love with a legendary fire? / And if the cold, pissing rain flooded that fire / Would you still take my hand tonight?”
All in all, Celebration Rock does not deviate all that much from the sound of Japandroids’ 2010 album No Singles, but there’s enough to sink your teeth into to make it a worthwhile venture. We can imagine it would be very good in a live setting, for what that’s worth.
Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!
Celebration Rock is out now on Polyvinyl. For more information, please visit www.japandroids.com