Japandroids – Post-Nothing (Polyvinyl)
One would think that the rock and roll duo is creatively tapped out. From the Everly Brothers to the Carpenters, from the White Stripes to Hella, it seems that every nuance should be explored by now, every conceivable idea exploited.
I suppose that you could further break down bands with only two members into two distinctive categories: duos that are so talented that they really don’t need any additional members because they’re already awesome enough and duos that are just so excited to play as soon as they can that they couldn’t be bother with bass player auditions.
Japandroids fit in the latter category, with such infectious enthusiasm that you can understand why they laid down a few tracks and said, “I think we’re good here,” thereby keeping the door take at an even fifty/fifty.
They’ve also figured out how bands manage to continue to foster with such numeric limitations on their creative input: bash out some high-spirited rock and roll and have fun while doing it.
Post-Nothing sounds like it was a blast to conceive, record, and one can only imagine that the two put on a nice high-energy live set. Drummer David Prowse obviously is working without a net or a metronome while guitarist/vocalists Brian King manages to find devices to overdrive both his guitar and his vocals. None of these strategies are anything new, but under the context of Japandroids’ keen sense of melody and fueled by a never-ending sense of enthusiasm.
Girls seem to be motivating this pair of Canadians, which, in turn, makes for some awesome summer-appropriate anthems. “I don’t want to worry about dying / I just wanna worry about sunshine girls,” King yells, suggesting that maybe the youth have their priorities right after all.
The rest of Post-Nothing finds similar inspiration lodged firmly in the centric world of youthful ambivalence, and it’s a joyous reminder for the rest of us trapped in cubicles and relationships of monotonous routine.
It’s a blast listening to these two pound out an energetic half-hour of unbridled fun. There’s nothing new going on—which makes the album’s already clever title even more so—but the pair’s total disregard for pretention elevates Post-Nothing to one of the freshest rock albums you’ll hear all summer.
Japandroids may be working at a disadvantage when it comes to band members, but Post-Nothing demonstrates that King and Prowse have their business well under control and that all available positions have been filled by a pair of very capable young men.
MP3: Japandroids – “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
Video: Japandroids – “Heart Sweats”