A horrible hack

Japandroids

Post Nothing

Year Released: 2009
Format: LP
Label: Polyvinyl
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Oct 16, 2009
I suspect the album title here is kind of ironic. Because they know they are going to be labelled post- a hundred and one things. There is probably some person, who slightly missed the point of Fourfa, that has tagged this as 'post emo indie rock' on last.fm. Someone else probably tagged it "post lo-fi". Basically it sounds like mid to late 90s midwest emo but with a big thick hunk of fuzzy, grunge distortion piled into every song to sort of make them all sound the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It actually makes them sound a bit like Lync in places. Which is a fucking good thing! Especially on the ace album closer, "I Quit Girls", a lumbering downer of a track that completely obliterates my point about all the songs sort of sounding the same. I would love to hear them exploring that direction more in future.

"Sovereignty" is perhaps the best example for their sound. This is a great, rolling song that I would suggest is the stand out track on the album. If you dig deep into that now familiar well of fuzzy distortion, you can dig out a killer, repetetive, midwestmo style melody that would not have been out of place on 30 Degrees Everywhere. And when they hit the chorus they pretty much confirm what's going on with this album. It sounds like a band that in essence has taken the Braid / Promise Ring template, and decided it would be funny to go about piling this distortion layer on every song - and have totally midwestmo lyrics like "It's raining, in Vancouver" and follow that with "but I don't give a fuck!". That kind of brazen attitude is so 2009 rather than 1996, I guess. The lyrics are a real mish mash, some of it is irksomely terrible (the song with "French kissing some French girls" has me reaching for turntable arm), whilst a couple of other songs seem a fair bit deeper - "Sovereignty" actually muses upon settling down with a significant other, moving somewhere far away and having children. Regardless, they are certainly doing something a lot more exciting with that late 90s sound than just cosying up on the sofa to the Kinsella brothers with a glass of wine and a box of chocolates, which is a massive winner in this day and age of bands seemingly devoid of any interest in borrowing something else from that period.

Basically, this is a super solid record which will definitely appeal to you if you like grungey, swirly indie rock with whiney vocals and a healthy midwestern emo influence. And I suspect by the time of their next LP they might come up with a bit more variation, or might have cottoned on to the idea that ripping off some more Lync would actually be the best course of action.

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