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Pre-Release, Post-Nothing

Vancouver duo Japandroids is giving it away.

Jordie Yow 22 Jan 2009TheTyee.ca

Jordie Yow is the editor of Discorder magazine. He writes about music and other forms of pop culture in and around Vancouver.

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Japandroids -- laughing some of the way to the bank.

If you've ever experienced the energy and fervour that Japandroids brings to its live show, then you probably know why the local duo recently received the nod from Pitchfork. Much to the band's own surprise, the taste-making online zine posted the song "Young Hearts Spark Fire" a couple weeks back in its "On Repeat" section, describing the heavy, bashy, shouty number as "an explosive thing, equal parts insolence and grandeur."

The track comes from Japandroids' forthcoming album Post-Nothing, which is slated for a spring release but would have come out a lot sooner if guitarist-vocalist Brian King and drummer-vocalist David Prowse weren't so terminally and chronically cash strapped (something I've learned in various merch-table conversations with the pair).

In any event, the whole of Post-Nothing is already being streamed here, and while it's an extension of the weightier, anthemic take on the garage rock Japandroids explored on its 2008 EP Lullaby Death Jams, there's also a fresh, underlying sense of optimism and adolescent exuberance to numbers like "Wet Hair." Any song that gleefully proposes "we can French kiss some French girls" can't be too dark, can it?

"Young Hearts Spark Fire" is especially hopped up, with a drunk-falling-down-the-stairs backbeat, a bright rush of indie-rock guitar, and dual vocals from the adrenalized duo. Japandroids' much-vaunted jones for Springsteen, meanwhile, is there, at least in the song's excited pulse and grand sentiments. (The opening track on Lullaby Death Jams, "Darkness On the Edge of Gastown," is named in tribute to a certain 1978 album.)

But that's all academic. The talent and appeal should be obvious on first listen, although if you want the really real deal, you should catch these freshly minted hometown heroes when Japandroids brings its insolence and grandeur to the Cobalt (917 Main St.) on Saturday, Feb. 7, conveniently enough, along with White Owl, Tight Solid and Terrorbird.

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