“Post-Nothing” – Japandroids [Joint Review]

Wave the banner proudly, peoples – Michael Hodder, the vengeful crusader on his great pilgrimage called ‘rock’, now marches on Jerusalem within the week. One might ask if he seeks the grail, I cannot say, nevertheless, he’s on the verge of becoming either history or speculation. What that grail is, I’m sure he’ll find it in his own time, meanwhile the dogmatic knights, like The Enantiomorphic God, tread tirelessly across the earth, sheathed in armour, with IPods for shields, Headphones for helmets, and nothing but the best weapon in form of musical-instrument. An unprecedented dogma now corrupts my mind, and I find I’m incapable of escaping this genre called ‘rock’.

Dragged back and forth between genres is no easy thing – just when I think I’ve found a comfortable neish, post-rock, psychedelica, ‘Sigur Ros’ [legends] among many others, I find my counterpart draws out from the woodwork called ‘Highly Evolved’ yet another album I should have a listen to. It’s like crawling topless across a mountain of broken glass. Compared to my partner on this one, my poultry sum of 1000+ listens on www.last.fm is inconsequential [but a feat in itself, for I’ve only joined for a month now] to his armada of 41,000+. After years of musical-neglect on part with me, I feel obliged to open my ears and listen to anything and everything, no matter how mundane, uninteresting, bizarre or eccentric.

It’s the least I can do…

So, for the past two-three weeks, I’ve been handing it over to Hodder to pick decent albums worth our Joint-Review, since my own quest to obtain some first-hand copies from a local band requiring some dire publicity seems fruitlessly slow. When it comes, you’ll all be delightfully surprised, but until then, “Post-Nothing”, an inspiring, well-strung two-piece band hailing from Vancouver, BC, are more than adept when it comes to sounding like a five-piece band!

Their first full-length feature, guys: after two EP’s in ’07 and ’08, entitled “All Lies” & “Lullaby Death Jams” are sure follow-ups for diehards, and even for the newcomers to these androids, “Post-Nothing” is, well – interesting…

"Post-Nothing" - Japandroids

"Post-Nothing" - Japandroids

I’ve given you just about all the details: “Brian King” and “David Prowse”, the band’s members, originally wanted to be a trio, but thankfully dropped the idea, and decided to do the vocals themselves instead of having a lead. For a two-piece band, and I’m reiterating this: they sound amazingly like a five-six-seven-or-even-eight piece band. ‘Japandroids’ have layers that I wouldn’t expect a debut album to have, they’ve mastered this brilliantly – and as a consequence, have masked their numbers with layers of sound. There is a constant blare of guitar which you would expect with maybe two leads, and there’s ‘King and Prowse’, who I might expect one of them to be solely the lead. Then there’s the percussion. But what I think lacks in “Post-Nothing is some thick bass – it would be appropriate with their music, their style. But for two men to juggle, I don’t expect it of them; not in the slightest.

And that’s probably the only pro I can think of for “Post-Nothing” – I’m guessing the title is evident of ‘Japandroids’ desire to break free from that genre-rut of post-rock; I could be mistaken. But they settle on the surface of rock instead, and are overly heavy in my book. I find that the album isn’t as fresh as I would expect, not as ear-opening as I want it to be. The only downfalls for ‘Japandroids’ I suppose, could be the likeness of one song to another and the placement of a certain-track.

“The Boys Are Leaving Town” is like the anti of “The Boys Are Back In Town”, and basically, opens with some heavy-scratch guitar. It sounds amazingly duplicitous – we’ve got the solid ambient-like scratch, and then the driving-lead on top of that. The percussion comes in, and then the ‘King and Prowse’ start screeching:

“… The boys are leaving town, the boys are leaving town, owwww… ohhh….”

And for a song of its calibre, and for a song of its lyrics, and for a song of its music, I would have much enjoyed “Post-Nothing” a hell of a lot more if this had have been the last track instead of the first. When you get into the thickness of “Post-Nothing”, you need tracks like this to lift you out of some of their simplistic tunes and lyrics. Something to bring you back out of your music-induced coma, out of your ‘mellow’ [not that you could possibly be mellow with such an album as this] state, and back into the realisation that the album is now at its finish.

“I Quit Girls”, instead, is a dull conclusion to “Post-Nothing”, and by the end of the album, you’ll find you can’t really remember much of the album, perhaps its beginning, most certainly not the middle. Da-Da-Da-Da-Di-Da-Dum, that’s the guitar’s tune, all throughout “I Quit Girls”.

Overall, I find that “Post-Nothing” is just another album to add to my list of rock. The songs are steady, there’s no boundary-breaking, no ‘shake-it-up’ attitude I am now expecting when I listen to an album, such as it should be these days. Instead, the repetitive nature of “Post-Nothing” is not only frustrating, but I hate to admit: boring. I’ve heard some fantastic music this year, and just as many ‘shockers’, and this one would have been passed in if I had have had the choice.

They might make it, guys – but I’m not surprised if they get overlooked by mainstream. Radio has plenty of rock-wanna-be’s to pick from, ‘Japandroids’hasn’t made much of an exception unto itself. Album-wise, it’s not my usual cup-o’-Joe, and I would probably keep it on the shelves where it might better entertain a thrash-head, rather than a connoisseur. Hodder, my dear friend: you’ll probably disagree with me – but as is such, what would my reviews be without this “individuality”. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: if the album’s bloody-brilliant, and we both think it is, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth – but if one of us doubts it, there’s sure to be a reason why…

As is appropriate, a three-star rating – it’s not bad, it’s not great, but it’s not the number-one for me.

Until when,

The Enantiomorphic God

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~ by enantiomorphicgod on May 31, 2009.

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