Often times in the world of indie music, new genres are created with every new sound introduced. It’s so hard to pinpoint anything these days because everything is so different and there is so much out here. Bands themselves can change their sound and change their own identity. Even individual albums shift. Thats why it’s nice to hear an album every once and a while that finds their niche, their sound, and said “you know what, let’s stick with this.” Which is exactly what Japandroids do. The title of the album perfectly describes their sound, celebration rock. A band that really hates sitting in a studio and recording, they just wanted to make more music for them to tour with, because thats what they enjoy the most.
This album is the proverbial fist pumper. Eight tracks of adrenaline pumping, inspiring, energetic, feel-goodness complete with distortion and vocals being screamed over a microphone. All of these elements are perfect for this time of year. I’ve already played you guys “The House That Heaven Built” which has the potential to be THE song of the summer. Imagine that, but for 7 more tracks. The best part about this album was that is was released at the best time. For those of you who are lucky enough, this is an album that should be played at full volume, with all the windows down, cruising down the highway at 80 MPH, with a car packed full of friends in the middle of a hot summer day.
The very first track off the album “The Nights of Wine and Roses” is a perfect example of the feelings this album is trying to instill. It stirs the sense of youthful energy and reckless abandon. It tries to portray the nights where everyone goes out and tries to forget everything that makes their lives suck, usually through alcohol or other substances. This pace keeps up for the entire album, with only “Younger Us” having a distinct sound and lyrical content from the rest of the album. With vocals being fuzzed and the lyrics shifting from being in the moment, to wishing for those younger days, I start to wonder if they should have placed this track at the beginning of the album as a kind of intro into the rest of the album being like a reminiscent look at the past. But I suppose it acts as a pretty good break after “Adrenaline Nightshift” which sounds exactly as the title implies.
There’s a popping sound made at the beginning of “The Nights of Wine and Roses” makes it’s way back at the end of “Continuous Thunder”, which, if you were like me and listening to the album on Spotify, you slip right back into Wine and Roses. I do very much enjoy this album, it’s infectious energy and enthusiastic young thinking is something that I enjoy as an escape from the doldrums of every day life. However, I feel if this album was released at a different time it would be pinned as stagnant, for there are some weaker tracks in “For the Love of the Ivy”, with it’s not so great lyrics (rhyming hell, with hell, with hell. And ivy, with ivy, with ivy) and maybe even “Continuous Thunder”. Yet they were smart by only putting eight tracks on the album, if they had two more songs, maybe even one more song, it runs the risk of becoming boring and trivial. However, there’s enough power for 7 ish tracks to keep you coming back to listen to it.
For a band that only wanted to create an album to have more music to play on tour, they made a pretty good record.
“Celebration Rock” was out June 5th on Polyvinyl