Review Summary: Don’t stop at the album art- Lullaby Death Jams EP has one of the most horrifyingly sweet album covers in recent memory, but there’s music on here too, believe it or not.
It’s all still there, of course: the utter, the fuzzy, rampaging guitars, and those damn catchy rock anthems that you cant help but yell at the top of your lungs with. The Vancouver duo of Brian King and Dave Prowse reel in a nice catch with their pre- Post- Nothing
EP, Lullaby Death Jams
. Listening backwards in an artists discography is always an especially interesting journey. Will you here regression? Will you hear the loss of those things that cause you to fall in love with the band in the first place? It can be worrisome, understandably. Well there’s no need to be worried with Lullaby Death Jams
. Short and sweet, this is the JPNDRDS you know, the same JPNDRDS you love.
Don’t stop at the album art- Lullaby Death Jams EP
has one of the most horrifyingly sweet album covers in recent memory, but there’s music on here too, believe it or not. Japandroids, it seems, have an inherent knack for those sublime, catchy anthems that make you want to scream with the windows rolled down. Whereas on Post-Nothing it was, “She had wet hair say what you will / I don’t care I couldn’t resist it,”
on Lullaby it’s “Things are different now / I’m different now, you’re the same / you’re aerosol, floating to me,”
(“Sexual Aerosol”). Sound a bit nonsensical? Maybe, but I’m not complaining. Japandroids don’t aim at depth on Lullaby
, but they sure hit the sweet spot when it comes to raw emotion. Powerful guitar riffs build up into exuberant outbursts time and time again, especially on the first three of this 5 song EP. “No Allegiance to the Queen” is a fast-paced, guitar-cluttered romp that resulted in one of the best live show songs I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. A bit more dynamic, structurally, than anything on Post-Nothing
, “No Allegiance...” adds a little zest to the mix. “Lovers-Strangers” keeps that Japandroid energy, but will be remembered as a perfect example of the downside to Lullaby Death Jams
. Passion and noise alone aren’t enough for Japandroids appeal. This sounds like an obvious point, but the unfocused mess disintegrates and flails a bit aimlessly. The fifth, “Lucifer’s Symphony,” also reminds once again that this is an EP. Lazy and hazy, the tempo speeds up and slows down for a long seven minutes, but never quite finds that sweet spot that sounded so natural on Post-Nothing
. Whether or not it ultimately works, though, is almost beside the point. It’s interesting, to say the least. The raw under-production of Lullaby
doesn’t detract from the experience, but rather adds to the sheer emotion just exploding out of Brian’s lungs. Don’t bother having to give this two listens, Lullaby
will almost undoubtedly hook your ears and reel you in within a few minutes of stumbling guitar riffs and hot-blooded yelling.
Fittingly, Lullaby Death Jams EP
closes in a fury of guitars, primal yells, and a sing-along- well, “death jam.” While Lullaby Death Jams
doesn’t have the same consistency as its successor, it certainly incorporates the raw energy, the simplicity and emotion associated with Post-Nothing
. It hints towards impending greatness, but of course we know how that works out, don’t we?