Want to be overcome with a feeling of pure, musically-induced invincibility? If you do, look no further than Japandroids’ newest album Celebration Rock.
My friend happened upon the not-yet-released album — which is scheduled to infect the ears of the entire noise-punk genre on June 5 — and let me listen to it. Upon its completion, I instantly decided that it would be the album that defines my summer.
Put simply, Celebration Rock is an album about youth. Japandroids’ premier album Post-Nothing was saturated with the theme of unbridled youthfulness that made you want to break out a bottle of alcohol and sneak into the dead of night. Each song on Post-Nothing reminded you to resist society’s desire for you to grow up and evolve from your teenage debauchery through loud chants and grizzly guitar riffs, and Celebration Rock spins that feeling into a mature fashion.
Instead of thrusting against your inevitable turning of the calendar, Celebration Rock preaches a sober acceptance -— albeit an unwanted one — of your coming-of-age.
The band’s unguided energy has no limit in its ability to make you dance and scream, which is evident in the first song of the album, “The Nights of Wine and Roses,” throws the listener into a state of euphoria I can only imagine would force you to slap on a pair of aviators, light up a cigarette and just drive for hours into the distance.
The album continues to storm forward with fantastic middle tracks like “Evil’s Way” and “Adrenaline Nightshift,” complete with strained vocals and choruses that demand every inch of energy you could possibly exert before leading the listener into the third and final act of Celebration Rock that is an explosion of revolts, chants and unchecked, well….celebration.
“Younger Us,” which was released prior to Celebration Rock, discusses exactly what you would expect — the desire to relieve the moments of youth you will never forget. With lines like “remember saying things like we’ll sleep when we’re dead and thinking this feeling was never gonna end / remember that night you were already in bed / said ‘fuck it’ and got up to drink with me instead” how can you not yearn to relate with their youthful exuberance? The song shows that the band has accepted their coming of age, just not as happily as you might expect.
The album’s last two tracks “The House That Heaven Built” and “Continuous Thunder” act as perfect bookends to Celebration Rock, offering not only an anthemic rock that could inject energy into even the most passive of listeners, but a juxtaposing final song that sums up the album entirely.
“The House That Heaven Built” has more “oh’s!” in it than any song I’ve ever heard — and it’s perfect. The song makes you want to lash out and scream against the walls caving in around you and live the life you want. When the duo of Brian King and David Prowse scream “when they love you, and they will. Tell them they can all love in my shadow / and if they try to slow you down / tell them all to ‘go to hell,’” how can you not be overcome with a revolution-like feeling of power?
“Continuous Thunder” is the somber finale of Celebration Rock, complete with repeated guitar slamming and soft-spoken lyrics that seem to question whether anyone out there feels the same way the band does about their age. The song ends with fireworks blowing up in the distance, but honestly, who needs fireworks when you can just hit repeat and listen to Celebration Rock again?