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    • The Strokes Share Third New Song of the Day - “Threat of Joy”
      This morning The Strokes announced the Future Present Past EP and shared a song from it, "OBLIVIUS." Then another song from the EP, opening track "Drag Queen," was premiered by Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 radio show on Apple Music. Now the last original song from the EP, "Threat of Joy," has premiered on Annie Mac's BBC Radio […]
    • Watch: Quilt - “Padova” Video
      Quilt released their new album, Plaza, back in February via Mexican Summer. Now the band has shared a video for "Padova." Quilt's Shane Butler wrote the song about the passing of his mother. Christopher Good directed the video.
    • Air Share Unreleased Track - “Adis Abebah”
      Air are releasing a new compilation of singles and rarities entitled Twentyyears on June 10. Now the French duo shared the rare song "Indian Summer" and now they have shared the unreleased track "Adis Abebah." The song was featured in the 2010 film Quartier lointain, but has never been released. 
    • The Strokes Share Another New Song – “Drag Queen”
      This morning The Strokes announced the Future Present Past EP and shared a song from it, "OBLIVIUS." Now another song from the EP, opening track "Drag Queen," has been premiered by Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 radio show on Apple Music.  
    • Living Hour
      Gil Carroll didn't set out to make one of 2016's most buzzed-about dream pop records. Yet he and the other members of Living Hour seem to have done just that, despite the fact that he adamantly says, "When we started this band, I didn't even know what the term 'dream pop' meant."
    • The Twilight Children
      Darwyn Cooke's death on May 14 shocked and saddened comic book fans the world over. Since 2000, the prolific artist-and infrequent writer-lent his unique and unmistakable aesthetic primarily to the DC/Vertigo Universe. It is therefore fitting that one of his final works was The Twilight Children, a wholly original, absolutely mysterious collaboration wi […]
    • Listen: Jessie Ware - “Till the End”
      Jessie Ware has shared a new song, "Till the End." It was written for the soundtrack to the new film, Me Before You. The romantic drama stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (Outlander) and is due out June 3. 
    • The Strokes Announce New EP, Share New Song - “OBLIVIUS”
      The Strokes have announced the Future Present Past EP and shared a song from it, "OBLIVIUS." Frontman Julian Casablancas debuted the song this morning on his brand new monthly radio show for SiriusXM, Culture Void (today was its first episode).
    • Premiere: John Grant – “Voodoo Doll (Gwenno V. Peski Kid Remix)”
      Last October, John Grant released his third solo album, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, to widespread acclaim. Now Gwenno and Peski Kid (Peski Records founder Rhys Edwards) have teamed up to create an extended reworking of the single "Voodoo Doll." Hear our premiere below.
    • Stream the New Album by Fear of Men - “Fall Forever”
      British trio Fear of Men (Jessica Weiss, Daniel Falvey, and Michael Miles) are releasing their sophomore full-length album, Fall Forever, next Friday, June 3, via Kanine. Previously they had shared the album's first single, "Island" (as well as its video) and the songs "Trauma" (and its video) and "Sane."Now you can stream […]
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    • Preview: Raw Power Returns In 2016 May 26, 2016
      Three day festival, loaded up with noise...Iggy Pop ain't never gonna lose his bite, but the ‘Godfather of Punk’s’ riotous spirit continues to spawn fresh lunacy all the time - look no further than grassroots noise weekender Raw Power for proof. As you might expect from a festival that takes its name from the third Stooges’ album, Raw Power rejoices in […]
    • Premiere: The Hummingbirds - 'Emma' May 26, 2016
      Breezily infectious songwriting from a hotly tipped young group...The Hummingbirds make songs that designed to be heard, to be sung back to them by countless fans. So far, they're succeeding. A recent nationwide tour included two sold out shows at London's Bush Hall, while the Liverpool kids are set to return to the capital tonight (May 26th) for a […]
    • Premiere: Benson Groove - 'Way Up' May 26, 2016
      London producer steps into the limelight...Benson Groove is a London talent, a producer who first gained attention under another name. Choosing to call himself Faces, the beat maker unveiled a series of cheeky bootlegs, with his outrageous charm gaining the approval of Skream, B. Traits, and more. New cut 'Way Up' finds Benson Groove stepping out i […]
    • Premiere: The Night Café - 'Together' May 26, 2016
      Liverpool shoegaze teens come of age...The Night Cafe are still in their teens, a bunch of waystrels and dreamers from various points of Liverpool. Debut cut 'Growing Up' hit SoundCloud last year, and it's wistful distillation of shoegaze and straight out pop became a huge viral hit. Taking things slowly, The Night Cafe are now ready to releas […]
    • Premiere: Grace Lightman - 'Faultless' May 26, 2016
      A surreal beauty pageant with a twist...It's not often that Clash will come across a track with an entirely suitable name, but Grace Lightman's 'Faultless' is definitely an example. Out now, the blissful synths flutter past a vocal as evocative as it is mysterious. Multi-layered songwriting, the cinematic sheen of Grace Lightman's wo […]
    • Album Stream: SAVE! - Monsters And Fairies May 26, 2016
      Bold new venture from Marc Nguyen Tan...Marc Nguyen Tan is perhaps best known through his Colder moniker, releasing two influential albums on the Output Recordings imprint. Taking time out, he then went to Spain and played jazz in the mountains, before forming a creative agency in Paris. Gradually, production loomed back into the horizon of his imagination, […]
    • It's Official - The Strokes Are Back May 26, 2016
      New EP incoming...The Strokes are back. The New York outfit teased their return on social media all week, announcing an intimate hometown show in the process. Now signed to Cult Records, The Strokes will release new EP 'Future Present Past' on June 3rd. The EP will contain three songs - 'Drag Queen', 'OBLIVIUS', and 'Threat […]
    • Track Of The Day 26/5 - Haula May 26, 2016
      'Trouble'Haula doesn't really believe in holding back. Each song isn't so much a performance as an exorcism, a means for the singer to expel feelings, to reach outwards. Gossamer R&B that ripples with emotion, the Uganda-born, Oxford-based talent is ready to make 2016 her own. Already gaining support from Radio 1 and 6Musuc, the singe […]
    • Gabriel Bruce - Come All Sufferers May 26, 2016
      An intriguing amalgamation of mind and feeling...It’s been a tumultuous few years for Gabriel Bruce. In the years that followed the charismatic singer’s debut album ‘Love In Arms’ in 2013, Bruce has had to deal with a painstaking break-up. And then there was the threat of finger amputation following a freak accident that occurred during his day job at a foss […]
    • Premiere: TAU - 'Mother' May 26, 2016
      Astonishing, mystical psychedelia...Some bands threaten to break on through to the other side, but few actually manage. However Dublin-born Berlin resident Nunutzi has a better claim than most. Being led on a pilgrimage across a sacred desert in Mexico, the musician emerged transformed by the vital yet intangible powers of the universe. New project Tau is th […]
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Best Albums of 2012: Japandroids ‘Celebration Rock’

Posted by falconi5 on June 16, 2012

Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Rating 4 out of 5)


In their Progress Report interview, and in this Pitchfork interview, the two fairly unassuming late-20s dudes in Japandroids talk a lot about how they love touring and hate recording. Touring the world, for two guys from Vancouver who’d never had the chance, was a revelation, and so they went into the studio to record Celebration Rock just so they’d have an excuse to spend another couple of years on the road. The band had almost ended a ton of times, because they’d come close to breaking up around the time their 2009 debut Post-Nothing came out or because a perforated ulcer seriously threatened frontman Brian King’s health. So it was a fucking miracle that they got to meet people and play this music across the world, and they couldn’t wait to do it again. I like to think that I can hear that mad urgency in Celebration Rock. It’s an album that needs to exist so that the people who made it can return to this improbably glorious life, and it sounds like it.

Japandroids have also talked a bunch about how songwriting doesn’t come easily to them and how each song requires serious work, and you can hear that, too. Because virtually every moment on Celebration Rock seems calibrated for maximum punch-the-air-and-scream-along potential. Like that part on opener “The Nights Of Wine And Roses” where King belts out, “We yell like hell to the heavens,” a mid-song pause stretches out, and then “Hey!” when the instruments rush back in. Or this one from “Adrenaline Nightshift”: “Death’s got no respect for love and you’ve no respect for meeeeaay!” This is big, messy, emotive, heart-on-sleeve rock, every hook coming on like a headrush so extreme that you can’t even see.

I thought Post-Nothing was a reasonably fun bit of ’90s-indie pastiche, but the band didn’t really click with me until the 2010 single “Younger Us,” a tunefully feral burst of sentimentality from two guys just barely old enough to be feeling that ache for the first time. Celebration Rock, it turns out, just builds and builds on that feeling. It is music for drunkenly hugging your best friend, and maybe for crying while doing it. It’s great stuff.

Celebration Rock isn’t a particularly boundary-shattering or ambitious record, but it hits a primal chord with me like no album since Titus Andronicus’s The Monitor — obviously-smart guys writing big, dumb hooks, recording them to sound big and dumb and unstoppable. They deliver hooks like gigantic enthusiastic puppies show affection. With its eight songs rocketing by in 35 minutes, it works as a compressed machine-gun burst of raw-nerve energy and feeling. There’s one cover here, of the Gun Club’s “For The Love Of Ivy,” and it’s be pretty easy to play spot-the-influence with the rest of it. But that would be beside the point, since this isn’t an album about music; it’s an album about need and immediacy and getting shit off your chest. There’s no holding it back.

And the most reserved and quietest track here, closer, “Continuous Thunder,” shows that there’s plenty more to the band than enthusiasm. In that Pitchfork interview, they talk about how they wanted to write one song that wasn’t straight-up “blitzkrieg,” to see if they could make something less epic. Well, they can’t. Instead, they made something even more epic and resonant than anything else they’ve yet come up with. And if they’re capable of writing a song like that as a thought experiment, it’s almost scary to consider how great they could become if they can force themselves to keep recording albums.

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