Monday, May 24, 2010

Japandroids Are Back in Town

It's time to catch up on my show reviews after falling waaay behind. How could I have fallen so far behind in my show reviews? I'm glad you asked. Over the period of my disappearance, my computer had a mystifying accident with some water. You're probably thinking, "What kind of idiot blogger spills water on his computer?" Well, I didn't exactly spill the water. In fact, I don't really know what happened. I woke up to the sight of water underneath my computer; something no man should ever have to witness. With no glass in sight and an apparently ruined hard drive full of potentially timeless writing such as this, I was quite baffled. The only explanation I could come up with was that my computer processed my writing and then proceeded to take its own life - but who knows, I may be speculating for ages. Onward to the reviews, the first of which is a look back at my second time witnessing the two man spectacle known as Japandroids.

If a band puts on a great performance, you will make sure to get tickets every time they come back into town. Japandroids hooked me when I saw them on October 5, 2009 at Great Scott. That show was one of the more memorable performances that I saw last year. With that said, when I heard they were bringing their anthemic garage rock to The Middle East on March 31, 2010, I had to jump on the opportunity to see them in a larger venue.

The show kicked off in a very restrained manner. Brian King took the stage and the audience seemed like they didn't even notice. He gently strummed his guitar and moaned into a microphone while a fan blew his hair back in signature style. Once he stopped, he addressed the audience making mention of how much fun their last show was at Great Scott in Boston and stated that they were going to outdo it in every way so get ready to have a lot of fun. That was all I needed to hear to get me excited. The duo launched into "The Boys Are Back in Town" and proceeded to knock 'em out of the park track after track. You can check out a video of the action below.

The band kept the energy in the red with hard rockers like "Art Czars", "Wet Hair", and "Heart Sweats". King knew he was bringing the house down and even let out a tongue-in-cheek declaration of "perfect" after he finished a tune. I complained about the absence of "Wet Hair" in my last writeup because it is one of my favorites of theirs but it was present in all its glory this time. He even made mention that we didn't get it last time around so he made sure to play it during the performance. I almost felt like it was there just for me - a highlight for sure. Check out the "Art Czars" single here featuring an impressive cover of Big Black's "Racer-X".

They grabed some songs by the throat and stretched them out into disjointed jams. They took this approach on "Heart Sweats" which found King hovering over drummer David Prowse's kit while trashing chords around for an extended period of time. "Young Hearts Spark Fire" fulfilled its usual role as fan favorite with its infectious melody meant for a chorus of restless youth. These fast paced rockers were broken up by their more down-tempo material like "Crazy Forever" and "I Quit Girls", the most discordant ballad to be written in years.

Its hard to believe when a band praises a city as much as Japandroids did, yet sincerity poured out of not only their mouths but their instruments. Their performance spoke for itself. They closed the night with a cover of McLusky's "To Hell with Good Intentions" as they often do. A lot of love was exchanged and they aptly renamed the track “To Hell with Every Other City in America, Boston Fucking Rules.” Give their EP compilation, No Singles, which was just released, a spin here and also make sure to take advantage of Lala before its gone because that was unfortunately announced as well in my absence.

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