JAPANDROIDS play Lee’s Palace on June 23. See listing. Rating: NNN
The sound of crackling fireworks begins and ends Japandroids' second album, and in between are eight of the most energetic, party-starting rock songs you're likely to hear all year. The Vancouver duo couldn't have picked a more apt title.
Celebration Rock captures the raucousness of their live shows and reveals Brian King and David Prowse's newfound predilection for arena-sized anthems. Add in angsty lyrics ("If they try to slow you down / tell them to all go to hell") and you have to wonder if they aren't courting that lucrative Molson Amp-filling teen-rock market.
Each song spills over with a breathless, unhinged vigour that impresses. First single The House That Heaven Built will make many a summer mix tape, while For The Love Of Ivy is a decent slice of straightforward punk.
But taken all together, the band's refusal ever to let up on volume, bombast, group-shouted vocals, fast-strummed chords or smashing drums makes Celebration Rock an exhausting sonic assault in need of variety.
Top track: The House That Heaven Built