The punky duo of Japandroids comes back with this treatise of 35 minutes of pure, unadulterated punk rock, heavily reverberated up to the point of distortion. This slice of rock is called Celebration Rock and finds the duo invested in entertaining like a pair of Speedy Gonzalez imitators. Think Penn & Teller with loads of Red Bulls in their non-existent bellies.
It slow builds…no, fuck that noise, there’s no slow but there’s a lot of building. Possibly with clenched fists, as you’ll find yourself fist pumping the air a lot. I dare you no to do it during ‘Evil’s sway’ and its constant streams of “oh yeahs!” closely guarded by punchy chords.
It’s funny how Celebration Rock seems on a first glance as a one-rhythm song repeated 8 times. Nothing wrong with that, but if you were expecting variety and sparse moments, it’s not an album for you. This is punk, absolutely drenched in reverb and on a very creative high, rolling and rocking with the waves.
Like getting caught in a riptide, the relentless, energetic drumming and the perfectly chosen punky chords feel like a 30 minute mosh pit, and, hey, any more and you’d probably die of exhaustion (I know I would). ‘Adrenaline Nightshift’ is such a rocking track, like what Andrew W.K. peddles when he needs to get his groove on. ‘The house that heaven built’ reminds me of growing up in Tampico, the seemingly neverending summers, the rides in the back of my aunt’s pick up truck.
It’s anthemic without being cheesy, it’s punchy without being overbearing. A live show by Japandroids must be a short ordeal. The songs are neck-breaking fast, fuelling a 1000 and more fans to bob their heads and push and shove around each other. It can’t be safe, but then again, no one said rock should be safe. These guys aren’t playing it safe. At all.
Funny enough, there’s a cracking noise at the beginning. At first I thought it was fireworks, then thought it was popcorn, but then recognised that sound, a dodgy electric connection between a pedal and a lead (or something in the chain). It book ends the album just perfectly. God, I love detail.
Words: Samuel J. Valdés López