Journey soundtrack #3: Japandroids

Japandroids are a two-man punk-rock band from California; their latest album, No Singles (Polyvinyl Record) is a compilation of their first two self-released EPs.

Their setup and music philosophy surely owes much to the White Stripes: drums and a guitar is all you need. Generally, though, where the Stripes are innovative and quirky, the Japandroids are often just a bit loud.

Some this isn’t a bad thing. It is evident that the Japandroids don’t actually want to be the Stripes and only happen to have gone down the same minimalist route. At their best, songs like ‘Darkness on the Edge of Gastown’ bring to mind Pixies (‘Bone Machine’), but at their worst there are traces of pseudo-punk yuppies Sum 41.

Mostly, I like this album. Their punkishness comes through without being overbearing and imposing. The deeply rooted tradition of punk manifests itself not only in the music, but also in the ‘anti-establishment’ lyrics of songs like ‘No Allegiance to the Queen’ and the glowering personal favourite, ‘Lucifer’s Symphony’.

White Stripes meets Pixies? Perhaps not quite, but No Singles is utterly listenable and good for letting off some steam.



About hombremediocre

Publisher, bibliophile, writer, traveller and general culture aficionado. (My favourite punctuation mark is the em dash.)
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