Albums Of 2012. 5// Japandroids

Celebration Rock [Released by Polyvinyl Record Co.]

Early in 2012 I was exposed to the loudest gig I have ever experienced. Prior to that Mogwai had topped my list of bands pushing human hearing dangerously past its threshold. But Japandroids took the biscuit. If anybody ever needs proof that this two piece sound fuller than most full bands then the live setting is indeed that proof. This is because not only are their volumes on full but a combination of ringing and resplendent chords set onto a backdrop of thunderous punk drums. Japandroids debut was actually intended to be a swan song of sorts for the band, as they felt the project was going nowhere. Yet after the success of Post-Nothing they realised their patience was only just being paid off.

After a few re-releases of old EPs and older material the band stunned the community with The House That Heaven Built. If people thought Post Nothing had been a ferocious rebel yell then this blew it away like a nuclear blast. And all of this is because of where the band’s energy comes from on Celebration Rock. It’s all in the name, instead of being driven by vague melancholy and disappointment at the end of an era they were invigorated and empowered by finally finding their place, and the music shows this.

A striking selection of more classically fast and hard hitting numbers all of sudden, upon closer inspection, feel very different from their debut on a purely melodic and lyrical level. Younger Us, an album highlight, was also dropped prior to the album’s release, and it remains the most resolutely triumphant, perhaps dating even closer to the time the band discovered they’d found their place. Yet despite finding their place this doesn’t mean they’ve settled down. After all, with so much energy a band like Japandroids can only sit in one place for so long.

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