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    • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: Collector’s Edition
      Although it’s found an adoring cult audience in the thirty years since its release, you can’t really fault any moviegoers who demanded their money back after seeing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in its original theatrical run.
    • Listen: Yuck - “Bled White” (Elliott Smith Cover)
      American Laundromat Records are releasing Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith on October 15. The Elliott Smith tribute album will feature newly recorded covers of Smith's songs by Amanda Palmer, Jesu/Sun Kil Moon, Waxahatchee, Lou Barlow, J Mascis, Adam Franklin of Swervedriver, Tanya Donelly, and others. 
    • Red Hot Chili Peppers Announce New Danger Mouse-Produced Album, Share “Dark Necessities”
      Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced a new album and shared its first single. The Getaway is due out June 17 via Warner Bros. Below is the first single, "Dark Necessities," which is available digitally now. The album was produced by Danger Mouse and mixed by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.
    • Watch Live Footage of Jenny Lewis’ New Band Nice as Fuck
      Jenny Lewis recently announced Nice as Fuck, a new side band with Au Revoir Simone's Erika Forster and The Like's Tennessee Thomas. They made their live debut at a Bernie Sanders benefit and have been out on tour the last week opening for M. Ward. 
    • Watch Paul McCartney Cover Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” in Minneapolis Last Night
      Prince passed away at his home on April 21 and the Prince tributes and covers have been fittingly constant ever since. Last night at his show in Prince's hometown Minneapolis, Paul McCartney and his band launched into a brief but spirited cover of "Let's Go Crazy," from 1984's Purple Rain.
    • Austin City Limits Lineup: Radiohead, M83, HAIM, LCD Soundsystem, Foals, and More
      Austin City Limits have announced the lineup of their 2016 festival, in which they will celebrate their 15th anniversary. Highlights include Radiohead, M83, HAIM, LCD Soundsystem, Foals, Kendrick Lamar, Mumford and Sons, Andrew Bird, Local Natives, Conor Oberst, Chairlift, Flying Lotus, Caveman, Marlon Williams, Willie Nelson, Band of Horses, Major Lazer, Fr […]
    • Watch Grimes Perform “Flesh Without Blood” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”
      Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) released her new album, Art Angels, last fall via 4AD. Last night she stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform Art Angels track "Flesh Without Blood." 
    • Bloom Forever
      Few records have stayed with me in the way that S.C.U.M's first and only LP, Again Into Eyes, has. Dark, odd, trendy, and fizzing with an almost naive creativity, it was a record that found me at a perfect time; it aligned with my budding interest in synthesizers and motorik rhythms and directed me towards many of my favorite records ever, while itself […]
    • Premiere: Pinemen – “Predictions” Video
      Today, we're premiering the video for "Predictions," the latest single from Stockholm's Pinemen.
    • Listen: Mutual Benefit - “The Hearafter”
      Mutual Benefit (aka Jordan Lee) is releasing his new album, Skip a Sinking Stone, on May 20 via Mom + Pop. It's the follow-up to his 2013-released debut album, Love's Crushing Diamond. Now Lee has shared another beautiful track from the album, "The Hearafter," which you can listen to below.
  • RSS Clash Music News

    • Track By Track: Susanna - 'Triangle' May 5, 2016
      Norwegian singer details her new album...Susanna is perhaps best known as an interpreter. The Norwegian has covered everyone from Leonard Cohen to AC/DC, treating each as a sacred object. Yet she's also an intensely creative songwriter. New album 'Triangle' features more than 70 minutes of enthralling music, 22 tracks of diverse, riveting lyri […]
    • We Are Scientists, Cat's Eyes For Rockaway Beach May 5, 2016
      Line up continues to expand...We Are Scientists, Cat's Eyes and more have been added to the bill for Rockaway Beach. A curious gem on the festival calendar Rockaway Beach nabs hold of Butlins in Bognor Regis, attracting a wide-ranging bill in the process. New additions include festival favourites We Are Scientists, collaborative project Cat's Eyes, […]
    • DM Stith Shares The Remarkable 'War Machine' May 5, 2016
      From new album 'Pigeonheart'...DM Stith has shared his remarkable new track 'War Machine'. The composer released his debut album 'Heavy Ghost' back in 2009, but he's not exactly been inactive since then - touring with Julia Holter and Yann Tiersen, he was part of Sufjan Stevens' Age Of Adz live band. New album 'Pi […]
    • Premiere: Thalab - 'Wreck' May 5, 2016
      Barcelona duo with a sound that is difficult to pin down...Thalab are cousins, and spent their teens wandering the streets of their native Barcelona while listening to the latest music. Exploring everything from left field house to acoustic songwriting, the duo built up a sound that patiently refused to be categorised. Shadow Child invited the pair to take p […]
    • Clash DJ Mix - Dinamo Azari May 5, 2016
      A journey through the darker side of rave...Having disbanded from Toronto house crew Azari & III back in 2013, Dinamo Azari has since forged his own path, with his solo career exploring the darker side of dance music. More recently, the producer announced a remix package of gritty, rebellious debut album ‘Estranged’ - aided by the expert hands of Carl Cr […]
    • Heartbreaker: Ryan Adams On His Desolate Debut May 5, 2016
      “It was a crazy time for me,” he tells Clash...It would be remiss of me not to point out at the beginning of this feature that ‘Heartbreaker’, the debut solo outing from Ryan Adams, is in my list of top ten favourite albums of all time - and has been, since it was released in September 2000. I was 21, stuck in a small town, getting over a failed relationship […]
    • Premiere: MK x Becky Hill - 'Piece Of Me' (CamelPhat Remix) May 5, 2016
      Arriving soon on the re-launched Area10 imprint...MK is perhaps best known as a remixer - one of the best in the game, in fact. Yet the producer's own material ranks among some of the most dexterous, wide-ranging, and potent catalogues around. Pairing up once again with Becky Hill, new cut 'Piece Of Me' seems to underline this status. House mu […]
    • Premiere: Thomas Newman - 'Ghosts' (Secondcity & Manu Gonzalez Remix) May 5, 2016
      And it's a free download...Thomas Newman rose to wider acclaim thanks to his role on the 2002 film Road To Perdition, helping supply elements of that fantastic, emotive score. Still producing sterling work, a track from the score recently caught the attention of UK producer Secondcity and his Ibiza born counterpart Manu Gonzalez. Together, the pair have […]
    • Premiere: AFFAIRS - 'Stained Gold' EP May 5, 2016
      University friends with their eyes on the prize...University can be the best place to forge long-lasting musical friendships, and quintet AFFAIRS met at Hull, bonding over their shared appreciation of ‘80s music. Now settled in Manchester, they’ve since been hotly tipped by the likes of Steve Lamacq and earned supporting slots to bands such as Alt-J and Circ […]
    • Listen: Krrum Shares 'Hard On You' May 5, 2016
      "It's also about giving up and letting go."Rising songwriter Krrum has shared new track 'Hard On You'. The UK artist broke out with his lucid, colour-soaked hymn 'Evil Twin' earlier this year, causing an enormous stir online. Snapped up by 37 Adventures, new cut 'Hard On You' represents Krrum's next step. Del […]
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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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