So even though it’s coming sort of late seeing as the album was released last May, I felt compelled to write this review because Celebration Rock just kicks so much ass. Two years ago when the two-piece, Vancouver-born outfit released their first LP, Post Nothing, it took off. Nearly 3 years, and over 200 shows later their second album is receiving critical acclaim by numerous sources as one of the best rock albums of 2012, and I couldn’t agree more.

japandroids

 

The album, titled Celebration Rock, starts off with the sound of fireworks popping in the distance, as if a… celebration was taking place, and Brian King (lead guitar, vocals) shouting, “Don’t we have anything to live for?/ Well of course we do/ But until it comes true/ We’re drinking.” Exciting, gritty, a sense youthful passion and carpe diem, the themes of the record that make their garage rock sound really come to life. And what an amazing sound it is. I grew up lavishing in the glorious music of punk rock and there is really an energy you can’t find in any other brand of music, and when I first heard Japandroids I was really just blown completely away. They really resurrect the sound of the 70s era punk bands – Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols, etc. – and add their own brand of energy, an addition that I might even dare to say improves it. They’re Title Fight without the pop in their punk; they’re The Black Keys without the dirty blues in their rock, and I think it’s the simplicity that makes it so good. Just two guys, guitar and drums, melting your face, with a “screw you, I’ll live life the way I want to” attitude that would give Dead Kennedys a run for their money.

If you’re not already a fan of infectious, explosive, in-your-face guitar fueled mayhem; songs that inspire you to be reckless, to need nothing more than a case of beer and your best friends, to grow a pair and finally ask that girl you’ve had a crush on out, prepare to be divinely changed. From the “OH YEAH, ALL RIGHT!”s of “Evil Sways”, powerful and exuberant, to “The House that Heaven Built”, the only track released as a single from the album, which is promising to be one of the stand out tracks of the year, the album is a roaring fire of a punk rock that refuses to wane. Every track, tongues of flame, fueled by overdriven guitar anthems and the electric, supercharged drumming of David Prowse that define the album while refusing to become repetitive. And what really surprised me is the level of depth and insight in the lyrics. Each track gives me the sense that the band is opening up to the world, touching vulnerable subjects of love lost and refusal to let life defeat you that I imagine really strike a chord with so many of us. Overall this album is amazing, definitely an album of the year contender, and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of rock, punk, or any their offshoot genres.

 

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