Review Summary: An album that has nonstop energy and a seemingly endless supply of party hats
You’re drunk at the bar, alone, slowly passing out. You’ve suddenly grown an extra pair of hands and you have two empty beer bottles instead of one. The people on the dance floor seem to have doubled and the strobe lights are nauseating. All you want to do is put your head down and go to sleep right where you are...
Japandroids are the proverbial friend that slaps you across the face and buys you another drink. They are that person of excess, the one who drinks too much, smokes too much, and sleeps with his best friend’s girlfriend. Japandroids know how to party... and they party a lot. And that’s ultimately what Celebration Rock
is – an album that has nonstop energy and a seemingly endless supply of party hats. “The Nights of Wine and Roses” begins proceedings promisingly and the lyrics immediately reflect the duo’s attitude to life: “Long lit up tonight and still drinking / Don’t we have anything to live for" / Well of course we do / But till they come true / We’re drinking
“Fire’s Highway” is the first real highlight, with one of the catchiest choruses on the album and those outrageous “oh-oh-oh’s” that simply demand that your fist be raised high in the air. But like that friend that everyone has, “Evil’s Sway” comes along and you realise that the party isn’t going to stop anytime soon. If there’s one criticism that has plagued Japandroids it is this; every song follows the same pattern and has just as much fun as the song before it. First single “Younger Us” would appear on most records as the upbeat opener (provided any other record could actually replicate the sheer liveliness shown here) but here it sits just before penultimate track “The House That Heaven Built”, which also happens to be the best song on the album. For the first time on Celebration Rock
you get the impression that maybe there’s just a hint of sadness behind all the revelry. Not that the formula really changes much but for once the lyrics don’t seem quite as straightforward as they did before. “It’s a lifeless life / With no fixed address to give / But you’re not mine to die for anymore / So I must live
Closing track “Continuous Thunder” slows things down just enough for you to catch your breath at the end of an exhausting ride. The album is thankfully short and doesn’t overstay its welcome which works in its favour; any longer and it would lose a lot of its effectiveness. Even so, you may find that the repetitive nature of the songs gets tiring before then end. But then again, if you’re the friend buying more drinks this is the soundtrack to the perfect night.