Some would have us believe that Rock music is in its final death throes, but nobody seems to have told Canadian duo Japandroids. On Celebration Rock, they deliver a blistering set of primal rock, stripping away everything but the core elements that made rock music great in the first place. This is the sound of youth - loud guitars played hard and fast, songs delivered with the minimum of fuss, and energy by the bucket load. When kids dream of being in a band - this is the noise they dream of making - spontaneous, exciting and really LOUD. There are zero frills on this record, no Flood produced extended remixes, just pure, raw filtered electricity - and songs that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
'Evils Sway' delivers the first knockout punch - coming off like Husker Du meets the Beastie Boys - an urgent blast of overloaded guitars, a passionate plea. Standout track 'The House that Heaven Built' is a fist pumping anthem - like something Bruce Springsteen might knock out in rehearsal but would never dare release, a fuzzed up, visceral thrill ride.
Closing track 'Continuous Thunder' slows things down ever so slightly - a wall of guitars and a pounding drum intro gives way to a song that sounds like a blueprint for how rock can still sound vital and alive, far removed from the stagnant sterility of corporate, mainstream rock.
We need bands like the Japandroids now more than ever. In going back to basics, Japandroids have stumbled across a sound that captures the spirit of rock, the essence of what turned us on to this music in the first place. Making the moment last is all there is - and the Japandroids are here to provide the soundtrack. Superb.
Review by Paul Page.