Friday, September 6
Japandroids is a duo from Vancouver, Canada. Singer/guitarist Brian King and singer/drummer David Prowse don’t so much lock in to shriek a bratty emperor’s-new-clothes punk scam as much as they simply take turns outdoing one another in the loud-and-fast stakes. Oh, did I say take turns? That’s charitable.
The preferred outcome would have been to enjoy this gig – absolutely. That is always the goal. The band’s most recent album, Celebration Rock, is a production-upgrade from the rattling 2009 debut, Post-Nothing. But it was akin to having a friend of a friend yell in your ear for an hour; you don’t really owe that person the time and they have nothing to say.
Japandroids had no songs – none whatsoever. Yet, almost, they strike a version of anthemic power-pop that people are heralding due to the fast and loud principals. You imagine one of the big ticks this band gets is that they have energy. Well that’s just a requirement. It shouldn’t be part of the checklist unless there’s room for improvement. Yes, they had energy and frontman Brian King worked hard to ensure the crowd was on his side. It was packed up the front, and people danced and chanted lyrical inanities back at the band.
It was a bit like seeing half of Blink 182 play a high school talent quest. Except, of course, it wasn’t quite as good as that might have been.
It was dreadful. Thin-sounding and missing anything resembling a bottom end and almost as if the whole thing – this band’s very existence – was arranged as some arty prank. A stunt. But then, that would have been good.
But no, this apparently, is punk music now.
I couldn’t last. Your reviewer was gone. As soon as I could say I’d given them a chance – and I tried, I really tried – I was out the door.
I don’t often write this and hopefully I never will again: this was the worst gig I’ve ever seen.
This review appeared today in The Dominion Post – I’ve reposted it here on Off The Tracks due to requests from people wanting to view it online