Japandroids – Post-Nothing (Polyvinyl) 07/09/2009

September 19, 2009 by  

japandroids-post-nothing

Minimalist post-punk sounds like an ominous genre to label any band with, but as desolate as it sounds on paper in the hands of Japandroids it’s an exuberant and effervescent sound that permeates the inner core of your sound receptors for days on end. The Vancouver duo of Brian King and David Prowse create the sort of arresting white noise that teenage schoolboy’s Sonic Youth fantasies are made of. Imagine if Teenage Riot was made into an full length album then the result would be Japandroids début album Post-Nothing.

From the off it is an unrelenting tour-de-force of frantic, pulsating drumming and visceral lo-fi guitars, delivered with a plethora of youth defining themes. Opening track ‘The Boys Are Leaving Town’ is a self explanatory burst of angst, where the urgency and ferocity of the music echoes the lyrical sentiment of ‘ The boys are leaving town’ repeated over and over. Underneath all the fuzz there is harmonies that can be dissected, especially on Rockers East Vancouver, and the dark rumbling intro on Heart Sweats, allows the song to set nicely into a grove before the brutal crescendo of the song kicks in. Yet the albums main strength is it’s lack of pretence and strict structure.

The freedom afforded by just one drum-kit and guitar is evident throughout and many of the songs on the album flow effortlessly into one another. If listened to alone they would surely be devoid of their essence and detract from the sentiment behind the album. For as much as the music is about unrestricted and unplanned outbursts of sound, so are the lyrics. Throughout the album, the theme of wasted teenage years and a subsequent desire to break away from them comes up. The foreboding sentiment of ‘Tired, old youth, burnt right out’ and ‘We used to dream, and now we worry about dying’ are married perfectly with the immediacy and idealism of ‘You can keep tomorrow, after tonight we’re not going to need it’ and ‘we finished our old lives, like we finished the wine’.

It’s been a while since angst has sounded so vital and compelling. On Post-Nothing Japandroids seem to have the found the ability to send a big fuck you to the world through a haze of crashing drums and fuzzy guitars. A truly compelling combination.

By Chris Cummins

[rating:4.5]


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