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    • The Omega Men #1
      From the get-go, we get a sci-fi, starship vibe perfectly served by the scratchy, stark art of Barnaby Bagenda. Where did this guy come from? Great stuff. The Omega Men are being hunted, evidently for killing White (formerly Green) Lantern Kyle Rayner. Beware when they are caught.
    • Listen: Prince – “HARDROCKLOVER”
      Prince has shared a new song on Soundcloud. "HARDROCKLOVER" seems to be about a night with a special lady (as are many Prince songs), but this one seems to like hard rock. 
    • St. Vincent Made a Mixtape for an 11-Year-Old Girl on Her First Beats 1 Show for Apple Music
      Apple Music launched this week and a big part of the service is the Beats 1 Internet radio station. St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) is one of the celebrity DJs involved in the enterprise and she hosted her first Beats 1 show last night. 
    • Watch: Modest Mouse - “The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box” Video
      In Modest Mouse's crazy new video for "The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box" Isaac Brock is the king. The king of what exactly is unclear, as his throne seems to be on top of a trash heap. 
    • Listen: Beach House - “Sparks”
      Baltimore duo Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) are sharing tracks from their forthcoming new album the old fashioned way, via the radio. Back in May the band announced Depression Cherry, their fifth album and the follow-up to 2012's Bloom.
    • Bat-Mite #1
       A chance to do something weird and wondrous with such an oddball character as Bat-Mite, and he's literally plopped into Batman's Gotham to interact with Bat-level people.
    • Mew Guitarist Bo Madsen Has Left the Band
      Mew guitarist Bo Madsen has left the band. The Danish band has posted a statement on their website announcing his departure, although there's enough ambiguity in it that fans might hope it's a temporary measure, as it says that Mew and Madsen "have decided to part ways for the time being."
    • Ariel Pink, Mikal Cronin, Josh T. Pearson, and More added to the Le Guess Who? Lineup
      Ariel Pink, Mikal Cronin, Josh T. Pearson are among the names added to this year’s edition of Le Guess Who? Festival. 
    • Slowness
      With their debut Performance, Outfit opened two possible creative paths. They easily could have cranked it up a notch and followed it up with a dance-fused electronic record brimming with melody and pop bliss. Or turned their sound inward, for a more focused and elegant exploration of the darker musical themes introduced on their debut.
    • Hero and The Terror
      Chuck Norris plays a cop named Danny O’Brien—nicknamed “Hero”—who became a celebrity when he put away notorious serial killer Simon Moon, nicknamed—you can probably guess it—“The Terror.”
  • RSS Clash Music News

    • Premiere: Clean Cut Kid - 'Twenty Years From Now' July 1, 2015
      Ambitious newcomers with a soaring sound...Most bands struggle to look beyond their next gig. There's a lack of purpose, a sense of shambling naivety amongst many new group. Clean Cut Kid, though, arrive with a clear sense of direction, a real feeling of momentum. New cut 'Twenty Years From Now' sets out their stall. Opening in noise-laden abs […]
    • 7 Of The Best: Blondie July 1, 2015
      Clash readers decide...Clash asked - and it's readers have spoken. The celestial Debbie Harry turns 70 today (July 1st) and in her honour we asked you lot to send in your favourite Blondie track. Punk cuts, new wave classics and disco gems were passed our way, alongside the occasional dalliance with reggae and hip-hop. The final countdown relies heavily […]
    • Premiere: Semi Precious - 'When We Talk' July 1, 2015
      South London talent continues to impress...Semi Precious introduced himself last year with a self-titled EP, a shimmering document which held six precious tracks. The South East London talent is ready to return, hooking up with NX Records / Squareglass for new single 'When We Talk'. Submerged in reverb-laden gloom, it's a beautiful but sparse […]
    • Premiere: Billionaire - 'Fine Minds' July 1, 2015
      Wonderfully sparse, noir-driven songwriting...Billionaire - real name John Sterry - is plugged in to the world around him. Politically and culturally aware, the artist feeds this information into his songwriting. New single 'Fine Minds' owes as much to Allen Ginsberg as it does to The xx, a noir-driven and deeply atmospheric piece of pop music. Out […]
    • Beck Plays Intimate London Show July 1, 2015
      ...and it's incredibleBeck started his career playing tiny venues, small dives that doubled as arts hubs. It’s what formed him; more than two decades on, there remains a sense of whimsical daring in his work, a sense that anything is possible. In town to perform at the Barbican’s Station To Station event – fellow cast members include five cowboys and Th […]
    • Playlist: New Wave Of Danish Electronics July 1, 2015
      Hand-picked by Kenton Slash Demon...Kenton Slash Demon's return could hardly be better timed. The production duo have released new EP 'Skydancer' at a time when the music of their Danish homeland seems to fizzle and crackle with a rare sense of creative electricity. In particular, Denmark's electronic scene is one of its most buoyant phas […]
    • Premiere: Fredwave - 'Change' July 1, 2015
      New London artist highlighting the need for social change...Fredwave is a hardened product of London. He sings, writes and produces tracks to escape from the reality of his youth and surroundings. Using this output he confronts the pressures of the city as it drenches him in feelings of constriction by living within a system which isn't made for someone […]
    • Cool To Be Conscious: Morgan Heritage July 1, 2015
      Reggae icons in conversation...Raised by rasta patriarch Denroy Morgan, the Morgan Heritage family has been in the game from birth. Formed in 1994 they played their first gig at Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica and got signed to a major label deal as soon as the stepped off the stage. Although they were not creatively satisfied with their MCA Records debut ‘Mirac […]
    • Next Wave #643: Hippo Campus July 1, 2015
      Infectious summer indie pop...“Our mentality is to not have a rigid mentality. Serve the song, and the rest will figure itself out.” Hippo Campus have wise words for a group of lads only just nudging out of their teens. Formed at high school in Minnesota, the band’s bubbly (but definitely not bubblegum) brand of bouncy indie reflects an un-cynical enthusiasm […]
    • Listen: Trust Fund - 'Dreams' July 1, 2015
      Featuring Alanna McArdle...Bristol's Trust Fund has been a quiet, pervasive presence in British music for some time now. Literate without becoming too cerebral, emotive without becoming self-indulgent, his approach has won no small number of fans. New single 'Dreams' is out now on Turnstile, and feature former Joanna Gruesome singer Alanna McA […]
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    • ORIGINAL BLACK SABBATH MEMBER BILL WARD HAS REGRETS OVER “IRON MAN’S” BASS DRUM SOUND June 30, 2015
      Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward says he never stops listening back to his recorded work – and wishes he could improve certain aspects. The most famous example, he says, is Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, from 1970 album Paranoid. Ward, who released his solo album Accountable Beasts in April, says he still frets over the […]
    • GEOFF TATE’S OPERATION: MINDCRIME TO RELEASE THEIR DEBUT ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER, SONG SAMPLES POSTED ONLINE June 30, 2015
      Operation: Mindcrime, Geoff Tate’s version of Queensryche, is proud to announce their upcoming debut album, The Key, on September 18th. To hear a sampling of four songs from the album, watch a trailer below: The first full song from the album will be released in the coming weeks. Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime features band members: […]
    • 6/29: BACK FROM CA & VEGAS, COVERDALE, CHRIS SQUIRE, LIVE TRUNKNATION TONIGHT June 29, 2015
      Back from Vegas and San Jose late last night. Great trip hanging with Frank Dimino, Gregg Giuffria, Paul Crook, Zach Throne, Danny Koker, Ken Ciancimino and all my buds in Vegas! Even hung with Ace Frehley one night. We didn’t know each other would be there and I had a great night with him, Frank […]
    • NICK SIMMONS WRITES “MY DAD, [KISS BASSIST] GENE SIMMONS, IS FULL OF SHIT AND SO ARE YOU” June 28, 2015
      Gene Simmons’ son, Nick Simmons, wrote an article about his father for Vice magazine. Excerpts from the feature appear below. Patton Oswalt has a routine about the first time he ever realized one of his parents was full of shit. “When you’re growing up, up to a certain point, no matter what an adult says […]
    • MOTOR SISTER RELEASE VIDEO FOR “BEG BORROW STEAL” June 25, 2015
      Motor Sister, the band featuring Jim Wilson (Mother Superior), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Joey Vera (Armored Saint), John Tempesta (The Cult) and Ian’s wife Pearl Aday, have released a video for Beg Borrow Steal. Watch it below. The group came about in 2013 as part of Ian’s 50th birthday celebrations. He wanted to jam some songs […]
    • 6/24: VEGAS & SAN JOSE THIS WEEK, SATRIANI, COVERDALE, MORE. June 24, 2015
      Psyched to be flying back to Vegas tonight for a couple days. I’ll be hosting the release party for Angel singer Frank Dimino’s new solo album at Vamp’d Thursday. It’s from 6-8P, all ages and free! Hope to see all my Vegas friends! Then Saturday night I’m back in San Jose CA to judge the […]
    • EDDIE TRUNK ON WHY HE GOT INTO RADIO: “I FELT HARD ROCK AND METAL BANDS WERE BEING MARGINALIZED” June 24, 2015
      Ruben Mosqueda of Oregon Music News spoke with our very own Eddie Trunk. Excerpts from the interview appear below. OMN: Who has been your biggest influence in getting you into rock radio? Eddie Trunk: First and foremost I got into radio because I felt that hard rock and metal bands were being marginalized. I didn’t […]
    • DEEP PURPLE TO RELEASE TWO LIVE ALBUMS ON SEPTEMBER 18TH June 24, 2015
      Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover writes: “One band, two crowds, two countries—a tale of two cities indeed. From Germany’s Wacken Open Air Festival, one of the biggest metal festivals in the world and a city unto itself, to Japan and the stately Nippon Budokan, the most revered venue in Tokyo. Each has its own distinct […]
    • KING’S X FRONTMAN DOUG PINNICK DISCUSSES THE BAND’S SELECT LIVE SHOWS AND POSSIBLE NEW ALBUM June 24, 2015
      Greg Prato of Bravewords spoke with King’s X singer/bassist Doug Pinnick about a select number of shows the band will be playing this month and other topics. Highlights from the interview appear below. BraveWords: How did these King’s X dates come up? Doug Pinnick: Our booking agent just calls us every now and then, and […]
    • VAN HALEN TO HEADLINE THE MUSIC MIDTOWN FESTIVAL IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA June 23, 2015
      Van Halen have just announced that they will co-headline this year’s Music Midtown festival at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA. The band will be joined on the weekend of September 18th-19th by co-headliners Elton John, Drake and Sam Smith “Every year, we strive to take the festival to a new level and this year is […]
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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)

from stereogum.com

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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