Japandroids, No Singles

Re-releases of old, out of print EP’s are essentially a double-edged sword. Not only do you realize how much great material you may have missed before you caught on to said band, but you get absolutely no cool points for coming in this late in the game.

Thankfully, the release of No Singles, does all in its power to alleviate these concerns. The gut-shot rock that litters this release, a compilation of Vancouver’s Japandroids first two out-of-print EP’s, Lullaby Death Jams and All Lies is so pungent and so potent that by the second track, the rollicking, fist-in-the-air rocker of “No Allegiance To The Queen,” all these worries about cool points will slip away with ease.

Yes, even before the Japandroids broke with the outrageously awesome Post-Nothing, they were still an outrageously fun band. How two people manage to make a sound this grand is a question that has two answers, seemingly: natural chemistry and a natural love of the music they make.

There is some raw, original material on No Singles that does deserve mention:
“Lucifer’s Symphony,” a scattered, seven-minute jam that indeed does reach as far down into the depths of sonic hell as possible. It’s a punishing tune that doesn’t necessarily show a heavier side of Japandroids, but definitely a more menacing one.

The second half of this compilation shows more DIY, thrashing undertones, especially on the depressingly harsh “Avant Sleepwalk,” which gives light to the monotonous struggles that so many young, burgeoning alcoholics go through. But it’s an honest tale, one that Japandroids tell with an unwavering hand.

Even in these early releases, one thing is clear: Japandroids were never out to fool anyone. Their job is to kick ass with two instruments, and even from an early age as a band, they were good at what they did.

By Joshua Kloke – joshuakloke@hotmail.com

[Rating: 4/5]

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