Thursday, June 7, 2012

These are not the (Japan)droids you are looking for

So I read things like Pitchfork to stay in the loop of indie music. A lot of times Pitchfork talks about music which is little more than beeps and blurps or walls of dissonance that their writers love but is impenetrable to me. I also read Grantland for not just sports writing but excellent pop culture pieces. Their article on Japandroids newest record is finally what got me to download it after hearing about it a couple other places. Here's some context.

The usual touch points are referenced: The Replacements. Springsteen. The Who. The White Stripes. So I fell into the trap.

Listening to the record I hear this:

and a LOT of this (might want to fast forward 45 seconds or so):

So what's the point? Perhaps I am not getting it but there's nothing really revelatory in Japandroids new record.  It's the latest thing, the latest band for a bunch of internet-hacks to get a collective hard-on over. Something to drop the name of with one another to remind themselves how much cooler they think they are

This is no knock on Japandroids themselves. I have the record playing as I tap my own pithiness out. I mean the record is good, I dig it, I will listen to it a bunch of times over the next month before I move onto something next. But I doubt a year from now I will listen to it all that much. We have the standard anthemic indie rock railing about being young, or rather about getting older, about getting drunk and about live being shitty. It's in about out in just over 35 minutes, so it's a quick fist pump.

So how does an indie rock band like this get noticed? What separates this from other bands, from the We Are Augustines and Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Men and JEFF the Brotherhood and Heartless Bastard and countless other bands making the next Born To Run and hoping (or maybe hoping they don't) get the mantle of the-next-Springsteen? Probably just good fortune. And honestly good for them! They are working hard and making interesting music and making their fans happy. That's the best a band can hope for.

I will laugh at the hacks though. I love record reviews for bands I have never heard of where they compare them to other bands I have never heard of, as if these other bands are some touchstone that I am all the worse for not knowing. And when I do go check them out I wonder what all the fuss is about.

Still looking for a point? Frak it. Check out the Japandroids and if you like it then PLEASE go check out The Hold Steady or Titus Andronicus or whatever else Pandora tells you is similar, though if you are relying on Pandora I would expect something from Led Zeppelin 2 to pop up.

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