Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tunesday: "Younger Us," Japandroids

How often do you hear that "less is more" or that something is "greater than the sum of its parts?" Those cliches apply to Canuck duo Japandroids. Singer/guitarist Brian King and drummer/vocalist David Prowse get the job done in a big way all by their lonesome. The volume and wave of sound they create is impressive. Other duos with the same instrumentation — the defunct but awesome White Stripes and local band RTB2 — more times than not lack that massive sound, sometimes on record and disappointingly often on stage. Heck even the Black Keys have opted to perform as a four piece to fill their sound.

But the Japandroids keep it simple — drums, guitar and super-hooky, energetic melodies and whoaaaaaa-filled choruses that make for infectious music — which is a hard thing to do nowadays when you can loop multiple instrument tracks, which at its conservative best is effective, but at its worst turns into a robotic mess. None of that with this band; I can attest that these are the 'droids you're looking for (heh). About two-and-a-half-ish years ago I saw the guys obliterate their set at the former Cavern on Greenville Avenue. Both were sick with the flu, but they powered through and blew my mind (see photoplay below; makes me miss having a legit press pass to wave at concerts).

What else? Stream the whole friggin' 35-minute album, "Celebration Rock," (which drops today) at NPR's All Songs Considered. After a couple of listens, I hear great improvement from "Post-Nothing." Japandroids sound more confident on their instruments; in particular, Prowse displays a much steadier sense of rhythm.

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