I had never heard of Japandroids until reading Uproxx’s weekly post, “Five Albums Coming Out This Week That Don’t Suck.” They posted the first track off Japandroid’s latest album Celebration Rock, “The Nights of Wine and Roses.” I liked it. So I did what I do when I come across a new song by a new group that I just might dig: I looked them up on Spotify. I ended up checking out everything I could, including No Singles and Post-Nothing. I definitely like Celebration Rock the best.
The new album sounds more mainstream. It’s something simple like that that’ll do it for me. I listened to Celebration Rock, enjoyed it for the most part, then went into the rest of the catalog reasonably sure I’d enjoy that, too. Not so. No Singles is just a mess. The vocals and the lyrics don’t seem to mesh with the music. It’s not that either are necessarily bad, it’s just that they don’t sound good together. That might be your cup of tea, but it isn’t mine. Post-Nothing is a bit better, but it’s still a bit too raw for me, a little too punk. The most punk I’ll get is along the lines of Rise Against or early Green Day. Pretty much the rest is just yelling to/at me.
But I got into Celebration Rock. The rawness is still there, but it seems cleaner. There’s a musicality to everything that I couldn’t appreciate with their previous efforts. It’s not catchy; I don’t think I’ll ever find myself humming or singing along to it. As with last week’s Blunderbuss review, Celebration Rock is wonderful background music. And I might be able to see myself adding a couple of songs, “The Nights of Wine and Roses” and “The Hosue That Heaven Built” spring to mind, to my commute playlist as songs that I can eventually really get into.
Wanna check out the CD don’t want to plunk down your hard-earned money without hearing it first? Here you go! Straight from their Bandcamp page!