“Post-Nothing” (Joint Review)
What do you get when you mix the shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine, the songwriting of Billy Corgan and the Pitchfork hype of Arcade Fire? Well, if you want to find out, read on…
Japandroids have been all over the net after Pitchfork gave them glowing reviews and their record ‘Post-Nothing’ has a rating of 91 on Metacritic, sometimes the hype is founded and sometimes it isn’t, in this case I’m sitting on the fence. As you read on, you’ll find out that I absolutely love Japandroids, but again there are a lot of people who reckon Japandroids are completely overrated. I see where they’re coming from, it’s possibly a bit overrated, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great album, in a year where the musical landscape has been dominated by small and middle sized bands, Japandroids have made an album that has been released at the right time and they have benefited greatly by this.
Japandroids are a Canadian two-piece band which includes Brian King on guitar and David Prowse on drums, while the comparisons with other two-piece bands (The White Stripes, The Black Keys, The Kills, the list goes on and on) will inevitably be made, it’s just plain lazy. The band released two EP’s prior to ‘Post-Nothing’, one in 2007 and one in 2008.
The most intriguing thing about ‘Post-Nothing’ is the fact that it hasn’t been released on CD, it’s only being released in digital and vinyl formats, which again begs the question, are CD’s dead? I for one hope not, but with the resurgence on vinyl, this decision to only release on digital and vinyl might soon become a popular one, especially for rock bands whose sound would benefit from vinyl recordings.
Anyways, back to the album itself. It’s an old-fashioned 8-track album that goes for under 40 minutes, which is obviously made for the distribution on vinyl. It starts with the slower ‘The Boys Are Leaving Town’, which just eases you into the album, but it’s not until side 2 on the record, when it starts to really rock.
The track ‘Young Hearts Spark Fire’ is the standout from the first half of the record, the lyrics “We used to dream; now we worry about dying” are not anything to be mesmerised by, but they do certainly fit the music perfectly. It’s a really fast-paced track; it never really holds back and just lets the tempo flow.
Side 2 begins with the song, ‘Heart Sweats’ which starts with a drumbeat that is very reminiscent of ‘Demon Cleaner’ by Kyuss, but it soon becomes perfectly clear that you’re in for something completely different and then the lyrics start, the line “Your heart is cold as ice girl, I should know I’ve been to the north pole” is somewhat corny but I didn’t really care, ‘Heart Sweats’ then explodes at the chorus’ and has one of those sing-a-long moments.
The last track, ‘I Quit Girls’ is, in short, a masterpiece. It starts with the lone guitar and the vocals follow closely behind. The drums don’t start until 3 minutes into the song, but when they do the song turns into something special. A somber moment in an album of fast-paced songs, ‘I Quit Girls’ is one song that you won’t forget anytime soon.
It’s an album that probably has to be listened by people who like the My Bloody Valentine’s of this world, and I also think it’s probably going to be an album that’ll divide opinion, but in the end I think it does enough to catch a few people in its web.
I don’t know if my fellow reviewer will agree but I think this album can be put in the very top albums this year so far and I think it does hold up against albums like ‘Swoon’, ‘Hospice’ and ‘Manners’.