Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Japandroids here have made what is essentially a debut album and it encapsulates all of the passionate and demonstrative flashes of uncertainty that make anyone feel as if they're drowning in something bigger, something that they've never touched or witnessed before. It's as if Canadians Brian King (on vocals and guitar) and David Prowse (on vocals and drums) have parsed out all of the hesitations that could come from moving into a stage of life where a small world doesn't feel that way any longer and multiplied that anxiety by one thousand, covering it all with lighter fluid and just igniting it all into a blaze that you could see from outer space. It's as if they've been able to squeeze their eyes shut and remember back to when they first got a buzz from drinking a beer in the basement of a friend's house and then picturing what a hundred of those buzzes, happening concurrently would feel like. Japandroids offer this look into what these sketchy, unwritten worries and frights might sound like if they were starting to get a little out of control and shoot sparks from their eyes and ears. King and Prowse are non-stop battering and wishing and hoping and scrunched up brows, scratching at temples and throwing themselves around in reckless, steaming abandon - lighting themselves on fire with emotional outrage and insatiable desires to be able to feel what familiarity with some of the important matters might feel like. The times come at them like flip-book pages - fast and over too quickly, while still giving a full picture. They sing on "Young Hearts Spark Fire," about the unmistakable fears of suddenly recognizing that you've lost what little control over the cosmos that you used to think you had. It comes at the point in one's life where the tricks start to intervene with regularity and nothing much means what it used to mean. It's not easy to just get through a day anymore. They sing, "Oh, we used to dream and now we worry about dying. I don't want to worry about dying/I just wanna worry about the sunshine, girls," and it's such a grave revelation that one has a hard time erasing and going a different way toward a similar end. King frantically strums his guitar and Prowse beats his kit with malice, making a sound that reminds us of the awakenings that Braid was coming into back in the 90s, knowing that there wasn't a lot that could be done to right the crooked world or even to get it to just take its time with us all. All that was wanted was to not be swallowed up into the greedy abyss and to have a chance to just mess around with their toys and to try and make some girls want them as badly and they wanted those girls. It wasn't considered wasting away if there was a pretty, warm hand that wanted to hold yours and Japandroids' best laid plan for trying to get the spinning to slow down is to make its own spin busier and dizzier. It works and it certainly makes you feel more alive. We hope it works in reverse, on the other side of the window.
Japandroids Official Site