When I first heard Vancouver, BC's Japandroids, I was surprised to discover that, yes, all this anthemic, raucous, glorious noise was coming from just two scrappy dudes, when it really sounds like the work of a much larger rock beast. With sheer energy and gusto, the duo blasted onto the indie scene in 2009 with the release of their acclaimed debut Post-Nothing (which stole the hearts of all my then co-workers at SPIN). Then I saw their live show: Damn.
Thrashing and shooting sweat like a sprinkler, singer-guitarist Brian King and drummer-vocalist David Prowse straight ripped. This was heart. This was passion. This was rock n' f**king roll. Those three are present in spades on their new album, Celebration Rock, out June 5. It couldn't have a more appropriate title: Celebration Rock celebrates the sounds of classic bands like Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, The Replacements, Tom Petty and others and pares them down into guitar-and-drum simplicity without losing any of the blood, sweat and tears.
Case in point: "The House That Heaven Built," the first single from Celebration Rock, which just dropped online. It's the sound of two dudes doing their best to fill Madison Square Garden with one guitar, one drum set and two voices strained to snapping. As they shout "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa ohhhhhs" back and forth at each other, I can imagine the sweat-soaked T-shirts, the spit, the spilled beer and the pumping fists. I can almost feel the thick, smelly humidity of bodies jumping up and down.
This is rock n' roll, people, and apparently it's alive and well in the hearts of Japandroids.
Listen below, then sound off in the comment section.