Celebration Rock opens up with a prelude of fireworks. Is it a commemoration of a new future for Japandroids, or a setup to 35 minutes of bombastic energy? Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
The sophomore release from the Vancouver duo comes three years after their critically acclaimed debut, Post-Nothing. Before the debut was released, Guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse were set to call it quits. After three years and little success, the duo decided to record the album and part ways. Upon its release, Post-Nothing caught the attention of Pitchfork, and subsequently every other music source. With a label backing the album and a monster tour in support, the Japandroids had no choice but to continue on. The end suddenly became the beginning.
Two years after crisscrossing the globe with 200 shows, the boys release Celebration Rock. On the surface, the LP explodes with the same loud, ruckus rock. Yet where Post-Nothing was a swan song, Celebration Rock literally is an ode to the future. The opening track, “The Nights of Wine and Roses,” poses the question, “Don’t we have anything to live for? Of course we do!” The unbridled enthusiasm is a welcome shift from the life-and-death drama of Post-Nothing.
“Younger Us,” one of the album’s strongest tracks, is actually a single released between the two LPs; the nostalgic rocker about when life was wild and carefree is the perfect segue from Post-Nothing to Celebration Rock. “Adrenaline Nightshift” is the ultimate summer rock ballad. The new single, “The House That Heaven Built,” is a fantastic throw-your-hands-in-the-air-sing-a-long rocker. “For the Love of Ivy” is pure Punk, and the loudest and proudest moment on the album.
Like a lot of guitar/drum duos, Japandroids find a way to emit as much sound from two instruments as a five-piece band not too dissimilar from other great garage rock duo albums like The Black Keys’ bluesy Magic Potion, Jeff the Brotherhood’s monster Heavy Days and The White Stripes’ raw De Stijl. Japandroids have their own sound, a loud, garage punk romp that manages to always sound fresh. As Celebration Rock closes with a bookmark of fireworks, the wild party comes to an end. At least there’s another party right around the corner, with one more click of the play button.
Can’t Miss: “Younger Us”, “For the Love of Ivy”, “The House That Heaven Built”
Can’t Hit: “Evil’s Sway”, “Continuous Thunder”