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on 20 June 2012
Celebration Rock Japandroids sophomore album was easily near the top of my list, for albums i was eagerly anticipating this year and if you've heard their previous record (Post Nothing) i probably don't need to tell you why. For the benefit of the review i will though;) Their 2009 debut was the most potent display of nostalgia fuelled, desperately chaotic Alt Rock i'd heard in a long time. It was emotional with a capital E and even if you thought the musicanship was lacking in sophistication or the lyrical simplicity was bordering on juvenile at times, you'd be hard pressed to deny the integrity of the sentiment. These guys played too gosh darn loud for their sincerity to be brought into question and to these ears the "amateurish" borderline hormonal rock songs felt extremely visceral and truely special.

Celebration Rock follows the formula that made Post Nothing so coruscatingly endearing with the band playing with that same corporeal intensity. David prowse explosively drums right after the openening fireworks on "The Night of Wine and Roses" and right up until the closing one's on "Continuous Thunder". Brian King brings his pummelling power chords and frenzied vocals to the fray again also, creating that same glorious cacophany that won so many people over on their debut. The only noticable progression on CR is perhaps in the lyrics department, the scope of PN didn't really extend beyond a fear of getting old and although CR mainly stays within this territory their perspective feels even more forthright this time round "Long lit up tonight And still drinking Don't we have anything to live for? Well of course we do" are the first lines that Brian King sings and this album is full of similar lines of affirmation and reverie.

"Younger Us" and "The House That Heaven Built" have rightly been crowned as Celebration Rocks most transcendantal moments the energy on "Younger Us" is at fever pitch with Prowse somehow drumming with even more ferocity than on previous tracks and King busting a gut singing with the emotion bleeding out of his distorted guitar chords. "THTHB" is played with similar force but it's the caustic lyrical refrain in the chorus that really makes you take notice "When they love you, and they will. Tell em all theyll love in my shadow And if they try to slow you down, Tell em all to go to hell" rarely do japandroids songs come with such a potent dose of venom.

The only negative thing i can say about this album is that it's lack of progression sonically, made it feel a little predictable at times. whereas Post Nothing seemed to come out of nowhere when it was released this album failed to flaw me in that same unexpected way, I would've loved to have seen the band experiment a little more this time round, thrown in a few unexpected curveballs (other than just a very enjoyable Gun Club Cover). Perhaps if they'd toned down some of the noisier moments they might have forced themselves to find an extra dimension to their music.

The formula of 35 minutes playing time, split into eight tracks, with minimal overdubbing and the black on white album cover have given this band an undeniably distinctive aesthetic. But they've also slightly pigeonholed themselves as that euphoria driven, recklessly loud, garage rock duo and that's unfortunate because they're too good to be caricaturely reduced into that in my opinion. My criticism should be taken in context though, CR's lack of originality stops it from being an absolute masterwork but it's still a very good album that anybody with only the slightest interest in indie rock should deifinitely check out!
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on 18 June 2012
Celebration Rock is the album that was never meant to be. Its excellent predecessor Post-Nothingwas the sound of a mid-20s duo throwing in the towel yet giving it their all and going out with an almighty bang. It captured not only the band's hopes, fears and dreams, but it shone a mirror straight back at its audience. Just as Brian King and David Prowse's previous two EPs had been, these were identifiable songs that yelled about getting out of your hometown, drinking, getting girls (or not), being young and getting older.

The problem was the Post-Nothing was too good a sign-off, its rallying cries too loud to be contained in Vancouver, Canada, North America even. Word-of-mouth eventually took their mauling missive worldwide - and to ears that immediately demanded more.

Celebration Rock is the welcome result and on it Japandroids remain a rough-and-ready punk-rock twosome capable of astonishing turns of melody amid sense-shredding noise. Condensed into the same eight-track format as Post-Nothing, Celebration Rock is merely a precise extension of the past. There's arguably a more refined level of production - Prowse no longer seems to rely on cardboard boxes by way of drums, King's vocal is minutely clearer in the mix - but the pair are still all about shouting to-and-fro over peels of thunderous guitar and overblown drum rolls, living and breathing every air guitar/drum opportunity and laying down discernible party anthems with every massive chorus.

Fast out of the traps, the buzz-saw riffs and crashing kicks of "The Nights Of Wine And Roses" instantly prove what primal joy these two emotive noise-pop enthusiasts bring. "Fire's Highway" opens with near-identical reverbed strumming to "Young Hearts Spark Fire" and its absolutely classic-sounding transatlantic punk-rock doesn't disappoint as King crams more stumbling words into his the fast-tempo chorus than have any right to be in there. "Evil's Sway" rips it up like there's no tomorrow and the breakneck psychobilly cover of The Gun Club's "For The Love Of Ivy" is attacked with the same enthusiasm as was the older Mclusky cover "To Hell With Good Intentions".

Side two is even better. The Hold Steady's intelligence is brought to mind during the sing-along "Adrenalin Nightshift" - a track to fall in love to as well as with - the boys now kissing like "roman candles" rather than with tongues. There's then the perfect one-two punch of the singles. Reputedly a Post-Nothing offcut, the 2010 single "Younger Us" here graduates to being included on the album, whereas the similar period single "Heavenward Grand Prix" does not. As enduring, endearing and anthemic as "Wet Hair", it's also a stage-invading, crescendo-on-crescendo riot that doesn't seek to hide its age, commenting on the past directly instead: "Remember saying things like we'll sleep when we're dead".

New single "The House That Heaven Built" is in turn a huge ball of unstoppable fuzz and ever-intensifying noise-pop with Prowse pumping out a militaristic drum part and King getting generous with the hooks - and its chorus is again pure celebration: "When they love you and they will / And they will / I'll tell them all they'll love in my shadow / And if they try to slow me down / Slow me down / I'll tell them all to go to hell". The slower tempo, more indie-rock-minded "Continuous Thunder" then brings down the curtain, acting as a release in tension via King's spoken vocal and distorted guitar shards that rain down during a close littered with literal fireworks.

Japandroids have a rare energy. They don't seem to function just as a band, but also a fist-pumping rite of passage. King and Prowse don't seem to be just rock stars, but the best friends you've never formally met ... and their Celebration Rock the best party you could ever hope to attend.

Advised downloads: "Younger Us" and "The House That Heaven Built"
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on 6 June 2013
I got this cd after seeing Japandroids support Gaslight Anthem this year. There is no track skipping when I listen to it which is always a good sign! It's not ground breaking but then who cares when it rocks! Play it and play it loud and if you get chance go and see them live.
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on 11 January 2013
The album opens and closes with firework effects and in between you get....yes, you guessed it, musical fireworks.
A big improvement on their debut album "post nothing" which although very powerful was let down by poor vocals and a lack of memorable tunes. On this follow up the cacophony is still in place but the vocals are much improved and they've got the hang of putting some melody beneath the noise.
It reminded me a lot of a (very) punkier Gaslight Anthem especially on "fire's highway" & "the house that heaven built" and at other times reminiscent of many of the bands on the SST label.
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on 5 August 2012
Great garage rock feel to ths album, cannot stop this one spinning on my iPhone ? Go buy this one now
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on 19 November 2014
Quick delivery, product as stated. Thanks
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on 13 January 2013
Bought this album as a gift,son thought it was brilliant.He rates this kind of music.Delivery was prompt,and it ws good value.
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