Japandroids ‘Celebration Rock’ – album review

Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
CD / LP / DL
Available 5 June 2012

Japandroids return with a rock-fuelled album supercharged with noisy fun.

Gunfire, explosions, fireworks? What is the sound at the start of this album? ”˜The Night of Wine and Roses’ means that it’s fireworks. ”˜We Yell Like Hell to the Heavens!’  kids getting out of their faces and screaming at the moon, dancing to punk rock and feeling glorious rebellion.

These songs have the sound of punk and a gravel voiced emotional drive. The best bands always made me feel alive and built me up away from the everyday. The sound of escaping and the glorious rush of a guitar pushing through my guts. This band have this, boy do they have this.

”˜So kiss away your gypsy fears and turn some restless nights to restless years’ the romance behind it too, holding hands and dancing, kissing in the dark and wondering how long this will last.

The songs are punk guitar, fast and pushing drums, pounding bass and the voice, an emotional blast to the head and heart. I forget sometimes the simple power of this music. But when I remember it almost makes me breathless and the memories flood back. Sweat sodden gigs, crowds of kids like me grinning at the stage shouting along to every song, dancing like dirvishes coming out bruised and parched. Playing records too loud and getting shouted at, walls banged on…a youth to be bloody proud of.

Then, four songs in, they really get to me. Properly get a lump to my throat. The Gun Club.. For the Love of Ivy. All I need to say, if you remember this song first time around you know exactly what I meant by the start of this review, this song for me is whiskey soaked, bad drug taking, tangled hair and leather jacketed rock’n’roll. Japandroids take it and spit it back out for a whole new generation to love. ”˜You look just like an Elvis from hell’

Adrenaline Nightshift, Fire’s Highway, Evil’s Sway…you know what you’re getting from the song titles. The last song ”˜Continuous Thunder’ is slower but no less powerful ”˜if I had all of the answers and you had the body you wanted..’ Life’s not perfect, half the time it’s rubbish, but we’ve got each other and behind that we’ve got the music.

The power of the music fading again into the sound of fireworks. These guys have been listening to everything you love and have made it into something new, uplifting, emotional and bloody loud. Fireworks indeed.

All words by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian here.

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