Articles tagged with Japandroids

Japandroids – “Jack the Ripper”

I know I, like, just posted a Japandroids song, but fuck it: here’s the band’s new B-side. It’s a cover of “Jack the Ripper” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It’s slower and more syncopated than most of the band’s fist-pumping work, and it taps into something a little creepier and more groove-based. Good stuff.

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Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”

First, Apollo Ghosts, now Japandroids? This spring is going to be a hell of a time for Vancouver indie rock. Japandroids’ Celebration Rock is out on June 5 through Polyvinyl Records (learn more over at Exclaim!).

“The House That Heaven Built” is the first single and it’s a pummelling, euphoric anthem that’s laden with wordless vocal hooks, scorching guitars, hard-hitting drums and cathartic “fuck the world” lyrics.

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Making out with other people

Blown away as a fine mist
The last time I wrote, I had the flu. Just as I was starting to get better, my computer got a sympathy illness and broke. Now I have a new one and I’m ready to get back on the blogging train.

Here’s another song from Vancouver synthpop duo Fine Mist. “Murder Murder” is the only track on the new LP, Public Domain, that contains real drums. While it begins with the usual electro beats and synth accompaniment, it culminates in a multi-kit drum circle, including a contribution from Japandroids drummer David Prowse.

I’ve written about Fine Mist a few times lately. I did a profile for The Tyee, included a mini-review in my coverage of Olio Festival for Exclaim!, and spoke with both members briefly for the Georgia Straight.

MP3: “Murder Murder”
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We don’t have to be like they are

The 638th way to kill Castro
Japandroids have always had a penchant for fuzz, but they’ve never ventured quite so far into full-fledged noise as they do on “Heavenward Grand Prix.” During the moments in which the guitars are unaccompanied, they are a wash of white noise, recalling My Bloody Valentine with their shoegaze ambience. The right channel is more or less pure static, and sounds a bit like a snowy TV. The vocals and drums keep the guitars tamed, and eventually the song ends up as a defiant, rallying anthem.

It’s coming out on seven-inch on November 16 via Polyvinyl.

Thanks to Stereogum for the MP3.

MP3: “Heavenward Grand Prix”
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We can French kiss some French girls

Is that Teen Daze's leg on the left?
Thanks to Bryan from Herohill for the heads up on this one: it’s a cover of Japandroids‘ “Wet Hair” by Vancouver chillwaver Teen Daze. It reinvents the hard rocking original as a synth-dazzled dancefloor jam, with pillowy vocal harmonies and one of the most irresistible disco beats you’ll hear all year. This is one of those cases where the cover version tops the original, which is a bit like a movie being better than the book: rare indeed.

I’ve been having a Teen Daze-heavy week; just two days ago, I posted his remix of a song by the Magician & the Gates of Love.

MP3: “Wet Hair”
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Give me younger us

I totally saw David at Music Waste
I wasn’t a big fan of Japandroids‘ first installment in their five-part singles series, the clunky “Art Czars.” Thankfully, the latest single, “Younger Us,” is much more satisfying. With its big, open chords and wistful remembrances of times gone by, it showcases the sensitive side of the band’s fuzz rock bravado. This is the same nostalgic vibe they conjured up so effectively on Post-Nothing tracks like “Wet Hair” and “Young Heart Sparks Fire.”

It’s out now on 7″ via Polyvinyl (ooh, clear vinyl), backed with a cover of X‘s “Sex and Dying in High Society.”

MP3: “Younger Us”
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Here’s your punk rock back

Crashing and burning?
Japandroids are currently faced with the unenviable task of attempting to follow up the massive success of last year’s Post-Nothing, which earned rave reviews and propelled the group to a massive tour on both sides of the Atlantic. Actually, come to think of it, that’s extremely enviable.

Rather than launch right into their second LP, Japandroids are opting to release a series of 7″ singles. After all, it can’t be a sophomore slump unless you release another album, right?

“Art Czars” doesn’t get things off to the best start. It aims for a more in-your-face sound than the fuzzed-out Post-Nothing, with pummeling drums and a lyrical dismissal of “Here’s your money back / Here’s your punk rock back.” It sounds a bit like a self-referential attack on on the band’s newfound popularity. And even if it makes for kind of a catchy hook, it doesn’t really hold up after endless repetitions.

That said, the guitar tone is pretty badass. Make up your own mind below. If you dig, you can buy the single over at Polyvinyl.

MP3: “Art Czars”
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Japandroids are go!

Brian King and David Prowse’s garage rock duo, Japandroids (a.k.a. JPNDRDS), is built around ragged guitar-drums interplay and scrappy production, making it sound a lot like many other bands of its kind (McLusky, the Constantines). But the group is distinguished by its sentimental streak, with lyrics and melodies that reveal a sensitivity behind the brash, noisy exterior.

Take, for example, “I Quit Girls,” the closing track off Japandroids’ debut full-length Post-Nothing. While the title might suggest a dismissive middle-finger to the female sex, it’s actually a love song, its title clarified by the lyric “After her I quit girls.” Similarly, Pitchfork-approved lead single “Young Hearts Spark Fire” has a the cinematic quality of an ’80s anthem—if the band turned down the distortion and added a couple of synthesizers, this could be “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” or “In Your Eyes.” It’s a coming-of-age classic, with its shouted chorus of “We used to dream / Now we worry about dying.”

King and Prowse holler their songs without a trace of self-consciousness, meaning that angst-ridden lyrics such as “Young Hearts Spark Fire” sound cathartic rather than depressing. This makes Post-Nothing the perfect soundtrack for your first identity crisis, the kind that comes at age 17, when you realize high school is almost over. It’s the same thing that makes Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club so enduring—at its best, Post-Nothing makes it sound possible to cling onto your last moments of youth and make them last forever.

When the band misfires, it’s because it’s because of the tendency to become cloyingly sweet. “Crazy/Forever” features the refrain “We’ll stick together forever,” and drives it into the ground by crooning it ad-naseum. Such moments are rare, however, and their effect is leavened by the fact that the whole thing is soaked in fuzz.

Japandroids may not be as brawny and vitriolic as you would expect out of a fuzz-rock duo, but it’s the group’s soft side that has raised it to buzz-band status. Post-Nothing is being released on vinyl and as a digital download, but not on CD; it comes out April 28 via Unfamiliar, but can be streamed now at imeem.
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