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Japandroids - Post-Nothing (Cover Artwork)

Japandroids

Japandroids: Post-NothingPost-Nothing (2009)
Unfamiliar

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: Mrdogg45Mrdogg45
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Lo-fi is a ridiculous genre. To think that an entire class of music can be defined by how it is recorded is a testament to how far rock music has stretched itself. Most of these lo-fi artists, artists who are allegedly creating something new in rock music, are nothing more than punk bands with extra.
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Lo-fi is a ridiculous genre. To think that an entire class of music can be defined by how it is recorded is a testament to how far rock music has stretched itself. Most of these lo-fi artists, artists who are allegedly creating something new in rock music, are nothing more than punk bands with extra fuzz and a Sonic Youth fetish. The recent surge in buzz-rock is all the proof anyone needs that history repeats itself. It's New York, 1976 all over again.

Perhaps I'd be more open to the idea of the "genre" if so many of its flagship bands didn't leave me disinterested and cold. While Wavves, No Age, Women and myriad other hip-today lo-fi bands have lit the blogs on fire, too much of their music is too self-conscious, too fashionable, almost as if these bands are trying as hard as they can to look like they aren't trying. There is nothing less appealing than a group more concerned about a look or an aesthetic than they are about making music, and that stylistic urgency is all over recent hits like Nouns and Wavvves.

It is in this respect, an emphasis on sincerity over style, that Japandrioids set themselves apart. While their core sound is not much different from that of their peers (fuzzy guitars, low-mixed drums, gang vocals), the honesty found on Post-Nothing makes it the first lo-fi rock album to actually matter.

According to the band's MySpace page, Japandroids originally set out to be a full band and only exist as a two-piece because of their impatience to find bandmates. It's easy to believe this claim. The duo fills their tracks with shouts, layered guitars and thundering drums, making as much racket as they can to compensate for absent band members. The thick layers of guitar on "Heart Sweats" and the crashing enthusiasm of "Wet Hair" beg to be filled out and highlight the band's low production as circumstance and not a stylistic, trend-catching choice.

Post-Nothing crackles with energy. Lyrics about drinking, girls and being young are delivered straight-faced, with an emphasis on directness over flowery prose. There is never any question about what is being said; their meanings are simple and without unnecessary confusion. At worst, lyrics come off tongue in cheek ("Let's move to France / so we can French kiss some French girls" on "Wet Hair"). On the other hand, there are moments, like the thrilling youth chorus of album highlight "Young Hearts Spark Fire," where the straightforwardness of the lyrics provide them with that much more punch.

Post-Nothing is an album that can wear a lot of hats. The sound lumps it in with the cresting wave of indie lo-fi. The band's simple and unpretentious discussion of young love and young lives puts them more in line with the long-gone emo bands of the mid-`90s. The underlying growl of their music has ties with Constantines-like post-hardcore. The positive attitude and communal feel of the songs makes them a Latterman-like punk group.

Regardless of classification, Japandroids have created something pure, something without pretense and without any concern for how smart or cool they will sound.

In the underground, where status is more important than comfort, Post-Nothing is a beacon of safety, a true rock record for everyone.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
mrdogg45 (June 9, 2009)

The thing about Wavves is that about 60 percent of the dude's music is downright terrible. Atonal, "experimental" basement noise. The rest of the stuff, however, is pretty good. Fuzzy surf punk, more or less.

And, yeah, that meltdown was something else. Still, hard to blame the dude. I imagine the pressures of being a 23 year old hipster superstar can wear on a fellah.

greg0rb (June 9, 2009)

Checked out a few tunes and am diggin' it. Polyvinyl just snatched them up... good call guys.

So everyone really turned on that Wavves guy pretty quick huh? Don't have that record but thought some tracks sounded cool. Is it because of that meltdown thing in Barcelona? That shit was pretty damn ridiculous... 2nd show of a tour or something. That's staying power.

billnye (June 8, 2009)

this shit is real good. like no age a lot. wavves sucks pretty badly. but word, different vibes from this band and no age. but both kill it pretty heavily.

mrdogg45 (June 8, 2009)

it sounds like a fuzzed-out, hipster latterman...and i totally dig it

I could have saved you all five minutes and just written this sentence as a review. Same effect, less words.

R3vengeTherapy (June 7, 2009)

I really dislike how much this reviewer went out of the way to slam Wavves and No Age. You sound like a know-it-all, and it's pretty annoying. Yes, I love Nouns. No, I never thought it sounded like they were trying too hard.

Despite this, I will give this a listen and see how it goes.

robalobadob (June 7, 2009)

My roommate absolutely loves this album.

I think it's okay. It's pretty good.

Lars_Frederiksen (June 7, 2009)

pretty brilliant stuff. better than Nouns and waaaay better than anything waaaaavvvvvvvesssss has ever done.

branden (June 6, 2009)

love the guitar tone, but the songs are way too long.

everydayballoons (June 6, 2009)

fun summer album

saint_jake (June 6, 2009)

We'll see just how much staying power it has, but for now, I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

soundforlanguage (June 6, 2009)

Japancakes....no discussion.

Jelone (June 6, 2009)

The correct answer is Japancakes.

holy_hack_ben (June 5, 2009)

Who'd win in a fight, Japanther or Japandroid?

inagreendase (June 5, 2009)

But really, Nouns is pretty rad.

danperrone (June 5, 2009)

it sounds like a fuzzed-out, hipster latterman...and i totally dig it

mechpope13 (June 5, 2009)

good album.

Thank you Al Gore, I read the review than half an hour later i have downloaded the album.

scorpiondeathlock (June 5, 2009)

i wanted to like this. i reallly did. but outside of maybe "wet hair", i just cant really get into it. it just makes me want to listen to Nothing Feels Good 100 times over to truly appreciate its greatness.

kidgotham (June 5, 2009)

This is such a great record.

wallofyouth (June 5, 2009)

this does sound pretty nice

bolucce (June 5, 2009)

album of the year.

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