Album Review: Japandroids - Celebration Rock (Special Edition)

21 June 2012 | 3:04 pm | Tom Birts

There is a gaping fault-line between the album proper and the seven bonus tracks nailed on the end. They are too raw, and lack the charm and focus of the album proper.

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No 'tricky second album' here – Celebration Rock is a booze- and enthusiasm-powered rocket, flying the listener, lager in hand, to a pre-smoking-ban rock club populated by all their friends. You can almost feel the resistance of shoe upon sticky carpet.

Japandroids barrel out of the gate with The Nights Of Wine & Roses, a toast to living, drinking and smoking in the moment. Standout among standouts Younger Us pinpoints the moments we miss from a relationship's beginning with disarming accuracy – “Remember that night you were already in bed/Said fuck it, and got up to drink with me instead”. By the time Continuous Thunder rounds off the album's original eight tracks, two things are obvious: Brian and David are two thirsty Canadians; and, like real androids (note: check androids are real), Japandroids are more than the sum of their parts.

At some point in the genesis of the group, Brian King and David Prowse decided that adding a third member would be nothing short of indulgent, and forged ahead as a twosome. The eventual result was 2009's critically acclaimed album Post Nothing. The less-is-more ethos unfortunately doesn't extend to the track list on the Australia and New Zealand Special Edition of Celebration Rock, and there is a gaping fault-line between the album proper and the seven bonus tracks nailed on the end. They are too raw, and lack the charm and focus of the album proper. There's no resenting a double measure though, especially as they're only a postscript to what is an exceptional serving of punk on the rocks.