Japandroids

Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl Record Co. '12) Rating: A-
When I checked out the many "best of 2012" critic lists this album kept popping up, and it sounded like an album I'd like so I decided to give it a try. Sure enough, this is an instantly appealing album from a band who hails not from Japan, but who are actually a mere duo (Brian King on guitars/vocals; David Prowse on drums/vocals) from Canada. Yeah their band name sucks, but their music definitely doesn't, and it's shocking that this music is made by only two people, because their loud, exciting sound seems comprised by a veritable army of musicians. As for their sound, you get lots of big beats, soaring guitars, and vaguely emo vocals that typically lead into rousing sing along choruses that are often comprised of "oh oh" or "whoa whoa" chants. This aptly titled album may not be especially deep, and there's a certain formulaic same-ness to many of these anthemic songs (the best of the bunch is probably "The House That Heaven Built," not coincidentally the albumís most popular song), but the band smartly delivers a mere eight filler-free songs (covering 35 minutes) that rock like heck and are flat-out fun to listen to. It's nice to know that there's still good high energy rock music being made these days, even if it rarely makes its way onto commercial radio.

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