Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Japandroids: Post Nothing

First, go get a copy of this record. We'll wait.

Back? Turn the volume to ten, and press play. That should be about right.

In short: believe the hype. Japandroids' Post Nothing has been on our "too listen" pile for a while. As it's been sitting there, we've heard a range of opinions from those who thought the band was a mythological creature from Vancouver, to those who thought they were the greatest thing ever, to those who had never heard of them. Put differently, there was such a range of opinions, we had to sit down and listen for ourselves.

When we did, we discovered a record that is everything that we love about rock and roll: crushing guitars, billowing beats, and vocals that cry with passion and agony. It's shocking that a duo can get a sound this big; and it's big in every possible way. It could be described as a sonic assault, and that would get halfway there. But the reality is that there's a solid dose of subtlety as well: the band has mastered dynamics, and knows when to pull back into the quiet moments. Those moments serve not only to underpin their louder ones, but also to show a band that's got a fair bit more going on then the straight ahead post-punk that the album title casually tosses aside.

Thankfully, the band's talents don't stop with sonic excitement: the instrumentals are just one piece of the pie. As we listened to the tunes, we found ourselves continually drawn in by emotionally frank lyrics. There's a degree of the sly humor that defines MGMT, but there's also a fair bit more. It's a level of honest emotion in these lyrics that gives the listener a true sense of youth adrift in the world, and a genuine desire to escape confusion in favor of a carefree clarity that isn't appearing as easily as it should be. All of this combines to give the music a depth and relevance that reveals itself more and more on repeat listens.

If it sounds like we're more than a little eager to dole out praise on this record, then you're getting the idea. From the moment we gave Post Nothing a spin last week, we've been listening to it on repeat, and still haven't tired of it. That just makes us all the more excited that the band is in the midst of a North American tour that will find them in New York next Thursday at Mercury Lounge. We plan on being there, and hope you do to. Meanwhile, satisfy yourselves by listening to this record again, and again, and again. We promise - it'll be well worth your while.

mp3: Japandroids - The Boys Are Leaving Town

Japandroids Fall 2009 Tour Dates

09/16/2009 Urbana, IL Pygmalion Festival
09/17/2009 Detroit Magic Stik
09/18/2009 Guelph, ON Albion
09/19/2009 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
09/21/2009 Columbus, OH The Summit
09/24/2009 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
09/28/2009 Buffalo, NY Big Orbit's Soundlab
09/29/2009 Hamilton, ON Casbah
09/30/2009 Peterborough, ON Montreal House
10/02/2009 Montreal, QC Le Divan Orange (POP Montreal)
10/03/2009 Ottawa, ON Maverick's
10/04/2009 Quebec City, QC Le Cercle
10/05/2009 Boston, MA Great Scott
10/06/2009 Philadelphia, PA The Barbary
10/07/2009 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Artworks
10/08/2009 Cleveland, OH Now That's Class
10/09/2009 Chicago, IL Schubas
10/13/2009 Dallas, TX The Cavern
10/14/2009 Austin, TX Emo's
10/16/2009 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack's
10/17/2009 Atlanta, GA 529
10/18/2009 Chapell Hill, NC Local 506
10/19/2009 Washington, DC Rock and Rock Hotel