Sunday, June 28, 2009
Post-Nothing - Japandroids (SUMMER 2009)
SCQ Rating: 80%
There will come a day we won’t care. We won’t want to get off the subway at our particular stop, we won’t want to check and respond to our emails. Our job won’t be worth the trauma, a casual patio beer just won’t be enough. There will come a day we call in sick for funerals that don’t exist, we’ll let our twitter-followers balk at our lack of updates. We’ll quit our jobs without a contingency plan and we’ll crack beers and dial friends as the sun comes up. And on those days, my friends, you’ll want to hear Post-Nothing. You’ll ache to have its shredded production rattle your skull, it’s boisterous curiousity bouncing off your apartment walls. You’ll want to watch the record spin over your hand-me-down turntable, hearing fully with your heart and not your brain.
Too contagious for hyperbole yet too thrilling for silence, Post-Nothing is pure id, embodying the cause-and-effect basics we all inherently try to disguise. Try to ignore the rapid-fire drum-rolls and distorted thrash of ‘The Boys Are Leaving Town’, the cymbal-crashing marathon of ‘Sovereignty’, the wild vocals of ‘Young Hearts Spark Fire’ that scream “We used to dream, now we worry about dying.” Is the latest from Japandroids truly post-nothing? Not in any genre-creating, generational-dividing way. Yet these songs deal exclusively in the present, in creating that feeling - however momentary - that every moment is your chance to break routine and do something entirely irresponsible. It’s a thirty-five minute release that feels entirely consequence-free, tailor-made for days of hedonism and, indeed, post-nothing.
Yet what makes this record more than some escapist’s reprieve is that, all those “heart sweats” aside, Post-Nothing has a cerebral side. Consider that ‘Crazy/Forever’, a song that in two words sums up all my aforementioned Freudian VS establishment rhetoric, finds the Vancouver duo pacing between bar-band and runaway romantics, swapping their classic-rock chords for summery, lo-fi pop. Or listen closely to how ‘I Quit Girls’ takes a touching three-chords - that, OK, were completely ripped off Smashing Pumpkin’s ‘Mayonnaise’ – dirties them up in a way that should be completely unlistenable, and throws a thundering drum track to fill the chord-cracks at the three minute mark. By the time Brian is singing “after her, I quit girls”, one would think the room would be cleared, yet ‘I Quit Girls’ is phenomenal, showing another dimension to the Japandroids’ primitive set-up. Gorgeous and ugly in equal measure, Post-Nothing treads a tightrope between melody and noise, structure and impulse, glory and depravity. There will come a day we won’t listen to Japandroids. But we’ll still be jealous of them.