Japandroids - Celebration Rock (4 stars)

Loud, scrappy and triumphant rock music made by two guys having a ball

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Japandroids - Celebration Rock

(Polyvinyl)

It shouldn’t take much to convince any sensible listener that any claims that ‘guitar music is dead’ are unfounded as they are unnecessary. But for the more stubborn among you, Japandroids’ latest album, Celebration Rock, may be enough to comfort you, if not entirely sway you. The Vancouver duo might not be reinventing the wheel, so to speak, nor are they playing it safe within any set template or genre.

Perhaps the title of the album itself will give a better indication of what to expect than any critical mediation, but essentially, this is loud, scrappy and triumphant rock music made by two guys who sound like they’re having a fucking ball.

‘For the Love of Ivy’ may go some way to justifying the ‘garage’ comparisons with its thigh-slapping attack on the blues, but ‘The Nights of Wine and Roses’ and ‘Fire’s Highway’ are more in line with some of the more economical, chest-beating gems Springsteen has been known to carry in his vault; further building on the idea that whatever you do, if you play it hard and with heart, it’ll show. Japandroids apply that to Celebration Rock like make-up on a teenager and are all the better for it.

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