Audiophiles who bought a vinyl copy of Japandroids‘ debut album Post-Nothing also received something resembling a business card, reading: “Supporting Japandroids gets you into heaven.” The bold and playful thank you perfectly reflected their music: loud, up-front, and grandiose rock anthems whose straight-forward nature seemed a relief in our post-indie-no-wave-but-chill-wave-whateverbullshityouwantocallit musical landscape.
The first single from their forthcoming second album, Celebration Rock, is thankfully more of the same. The duo opens with screaming guitars, pounding drums, and guitarist-singer Brian King’s unrefined voice backed by drummer David Prowse’s oh-ing. It’s a standard rock structure and they do it right.
“The House That Heaven Built” may not use found sounds or theremins, but Japandroids don’t need them – they’re having too much of a good time blasting through every chord structure they know. They’re not worried about impressing people with new approaches to old classics. They know the power of the familiar:
It happened at a house
Built of living light
Where everything evil
Disappears and dies
Japandroids do what they do well, and they have enough confidence in that to trust their songs. King and Prowse can see the stresses that will come from jobs, lovers, and everything else – they just choose to play over it:
It’s a lifeless life
With no fixed address to give
But you’re not mine to die for anymore
So I must live
When they get to the chorus, the song sounds remarkably like a fuck you to music blogs and too-hip record labels:
When they love you and they will (and they will!)
Tell them all they’re loving my shadow
And if they try to slow you down (slow you down!)
Tell them all to go to hell
King and Prowse are living out every eight year old boy’s rock star dream, and they’re doing it because it’s fun. There’s no complicated story here. Just go get sweaty in a dingy club, spill some beer on your shoes, and apologize to that guy you bumped into while you were dancing awkwardly to this song. Everything’s gonna be fine in “The House That Heaven Built”.