Indie Music Hour with DJ HotJack

A regular journey around the music scene

Album Review – Post-Nothing by Japandroids

japandroids_

Post-Nothing is the first full-length album from Vancouver garage-rock band Japandroids after a couple of EPs were released over the last two years.

The album opens with “The Boys Are Leaving Town” and it quickly sets the scene as to what the band are all about. On first listen it sounds like disjointed nonsense but the lo-fi punk elements come through on more listens and the reverb-heavy garage feel does too. “Young Hearts Spark Fire” is a little more accessible but still adheres to the principle of the opening track. “Wet Hair” is a track you want to scream along to and is full of Fugazi style guitaring. In fact, I spotted a fair few Fugazi moments in the album and I can’t think of a higher compliment for guitar bands.

“Rockers East Vancouver” opens with a storming drum intro before guitars and vocals kick in but the overall feeling I had for the track wasn’t great. Something to remember about Japandroids though is that they are only a 2-piece band and yet it sounds like there are at least 4 members from the sound they create. “Heart Sweats” also heavily leans on the drums and the track builds up very well into something full of primal energy. “Crazy/Forever” opens with another Fugazi-style instrumental where guitar and drums compete for attention and create a sustained intensity. It’s almost 2 minutes until the vocals kick in and, to be honest, I’m not sure they are needed as this track is all about the instrumentation.

“Sovereignty” is up next and has a slightly shorter instrumental intro before the vocals begin. This is a track that has a more controlled feel to it than some others but it works well. The album finishes with “I Quit Girls” and begins with the familiar type of intro before a falsetto vocal joins in. I found the vocal pretty annoying in this track and could quite happily just listen to the instrumental element.

Overall, this is an exciting piece of work. A few words of warnings though:

1. Had I only given this album one listen, I’d have been less than complimentary. It sounded disjointed and messy on first listen but that is actually what I’ve come to enjoy about it. It contains just about the right mix of structure and chaos, especially considering the garage-rock genre.

2. Don’t expect poetic lyrics or subjects that make you ponder life. This album is all about being young and the limited, and often facile, things that occupy our minds when we’re young. People say that MGMT captured what it was like to be young on their last album and maybe they did but this album does so much better, especially for the kids who daddy didn’t set up a trust fund for.

Seriously, give this album a listen at least twice before forming an opinion. And, if you like it and somehow have managed not to ever hear Fugazi before, check them out too. Hell, even if you have heard everything Fugazi have ever done, use this as an excuse to dig it all out and listen again.

8/10 from me. Clever work from the boys.

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July 31, 2009 - Posted by | Album Reviews | , , , , , , , ,

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