Over the last year or so, I've been on a bit of a mission to spread the word about Japandroids. I thought the Vancouver duo's debut, Post-Nothing, was one of last year's best albums--a riotous and romantic blast of post-adolescent angst and alcohol-induced revelry. I listened to it on the subway ride to work in the morning and before going out at night; on short walks to the corner store for beer and long bike rides through the park near my apartment; and I've used this space to tell you about it before.
But I can't help repeating myself--a year after its release, the album still thrills me. The glorious, life-affirming desperation with which guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse bash away at their instruments while shouting lines like "I don't want to worry about dying / I just want to worry about sunshine girls," (from "Young Hearts Spark Fire") pretty much exactly mirrors my emotional state from ages, oh, 16 to 24.
Sometimes, though, what soars on record sinks onstage. Thankfully, I was reminded last Thursday night at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan, that Japandroids don't have that particular problem. Live, the wiry King bounces back and forth between the mike stand and the drum riser, throwing a variety of Townshendian guitar moves. Prowse is stuck to his stool, but watching him wail away on his kit through one rapid-fire fill after another is its own invigorating spectator sport. There was maybe a little bit too much between-song noodling, but the guys give off such a sense of ragged joy as they play that I don't know how someone who loves rock'n'roll even a little bit couldn't find something to like about the performance.
So yeah, this post was me again telling the world how much I love the Japandroids. I can't promise it will be the last.
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