Review Summary: These guys are having a party, and you don't want to miss it.
The Japandroids play loud enough, and with so much passion, that it's easy to forget that there are only two dudes in the band. Their first full length album, "Post Nothing," delivered a sonic-suckerpunch of bro-punk when it was released in 2009, propelling the two unlikely B.C. (that's in Canada) natives to unexpected success. Now, three years later, they have finally released their follow up, "Celebration Rock," and it's amazing.
One of the things that made "Post Nothing" so great was the energy, and immediacy the band exuded on every cut. They were having a great time, so you had a great time. Well, on Celebration Rock, the party just hit a new high. Everything feels bigger, the album open's and closes with fireworks that bleed into a driving drumbeat and David King's heavily distorted guitar. It all just feels like the music has room to breath. Where as "Post Nothing" saw a band through a hazy lens, charging head first into the unknown without any direction, and not caring, "Celebration Rock" is a confident record that still radiates the party-rock from before, but with a more mature and thoughtful bent. Even though these guys are getting older, they still make music that is both raw and youthful. King gets nostalgic on "Younger Us," as he looks back on his life, acknowledging that we all get older. These guys are committed to living life to the absolute limit for as long as they can, and having a damn good time as they do.
The band's sound has also matured in all the right ways. Everything is still distorted, but the production on "Celebration Rock" is much cleaner, allowing for each individual piece of the music to really shine on it's own. King's voice in particular has evolved to be one of the best in modern rock. His delivery is constantly exciting, and it certainly doesn't hurt that the songs on "Celebration Rock" have, on average, more than just two sentences like those on "Post Nothing." The drums and guitar are both more complicated, and more interesting, though never sinking into indulgence. Everything just feels like it fits, and when the drums roll on the chorus of "The House that Heaven Built," you not only hear what king is saying, you feel it.
2012 Has been the year of Punk Rock's resurrection, but more than that, it has seen some of the most exciting feel-good rock records in quite a long time, and among all of the fantastic records that have been released this year, The Japandroids do it the best. These guys are having a party, and you'd be a fool to miss it.