May 15, 2009
Sometimes a band or musician simply comes along at the perfect time, and such is the case with Canadian indie-rock duo Japandroids. This drum and guitar outfit has delivered a raw, passionate, garage-rock masterpiece with their new album Post-Nothing.
Maybe it’s because I will be a college graduate this summer, which entails all sorts of scary life-related decisions and problems, or maybe it is the fact that at some point we all were sixteen, driving fast in the summer with the windows down and the music deafeningly loud—whichever the case, this record hits me like a punch in the face, and I’m sure many people will feel the same.
Opening track “The Boys Are Leaving Town” perfectly captures that terrifying yet exciting feeling of leaving home for the first time. The line “Will we find our way back home?” is shouted repeatedly during this song’s sing-along climax. The following track is “Young Hearts Spark Fire”, which is rightfully the lead single from Post-Nothing. No song in recent memory has captured the bitter sweetness of growing up quite like this one. The following lines will quickly become your favorite ones to sing at the top of your lungs: “We used to dream, now we worry about dying/I don’t want to worry about dying/I just want to worry about those sunshine girls.” This is the song that should be played at high school graduations across the country. Who could disagree with lines like “You can keep tomorrow, after tonight we’re not gonna need it”?
These catchy, gut-wrenching lyrics are really what make Japandroids special. Many bands are doing the whole two-man band thing these days, and Japandroids’ energy and sincerity sets them apart from these cookie-cutter bands. It is also hard these days for a band to be this emotional and punk-influenced without getting pinned with the horrid “emo” tag, but Japandroids do a good job of being aggressive and up-front enough about how passionate they are, which keeps their street cred appropriately intact.
In the end, Japandroids have delivered a 35-minute summer masterpiece of a record with Post-Nothing. While the second half of the record doesn’t match the blistering pace of the first one, the songs are still good and true to the overall carpe diem theme of the album. So roll those windows down, turn your stereo up as loud as you can stand it, and get ready to spend your summer with Japandroids.