Posted on 6/25/2012
[Polyvinyl Record Co.]
Japandroids' success seems to defy all odds. The band is composed of only two members, Brian King on guitar and David Prowse on drums, with the two sharing vocal duties. They formed in Vancouver six years ago, and received such little support initially that they would set up their own concerts, make their own flyers, and rent the necessary equipment with the DIY ethos of the 80's underground American punk rock scene they both idolized. In 2008 they recorded their debut Post-Nothing and decided to break up after its release due to lack of success. Japandroids had run its course, barely making a small dent in the Vancouver scene. Brian King had already started working on forming a new band.
The record saw release in 2009. It was a hit. As it turned out, they toured the world in support of it. They opened for A Place To Bury Strangers. They opened for The Walkmen. It went to #22 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. Hell, they played Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Is a band with guitar, drums and vocals a novel concept at all? Not in the least. So what makes Japandroids one of independent rock's greatest success stories in recent memory? Because every single second of their recorded material is bursting with the kind of youthful energy that only a small group of musicians who spend their evenings in their own basements playing to a group of friends for no real profit would understand. There's a sincerity present in this music that can't be captured by musical notation. If any other duo attempted to play these songs they wouldn't sound remotely similar. You have to actually live it to know, and Japandroids sound alive in a way that no other band can. This is music that will make your speakers sweat. It conveys movement in a way that maybe the science community should investigate. It boosts mood and spirit better than an energy drink and without the crash or the cavities. There probably won't be an album with a more fitting title all year.
Written by Tom Steffes, Radio K volunteer.
Tags: japandroids celebration rock weekly release spotlight