How you define “feel-good music” depends a lot on your personal tastes. For some, it’s anything with a snappy beat; for others, it’s a song with whistling or a catchy hook. For Japandroids, though, it all comes down to a feeling. The Vancouver-based duo, made up of guitarist/vocalist Brian King and drummer/vocalist David Prowse, makes music that’s meant to be cranked to 11. It’s big, boisterous rock with long intros, thunderous buildups, and a whole lot of shout-out-loud lyricism.
“I think in the entire history of our band we’ve only written two songs that clock in at less than four minutes,” said Prowse in a recent email interview. “It’s really natural for us to find some guitar line or an idea for a chorus and then build around it and really try to make it as energetic and epic as possible. We just don’t really know any other way to play.”
And that’s precisely where Celebration Rock fits in. The follow-up to Japandroids’ critically lauded 2010 debut, Post-Nothing, plays out like a rip-roaring night of excess. It’s a short burst of rock — just eight songs long with a runtime of only 35 minutes — built off of King’s anthemic hooks and Prowse’s now-signature blitzkrieg fills. And compared to Post-Nothing, it’s also a much crisper, cleaner affair; the guitars are more intricate, the cymbal crashes are pristine, and the fuzz factor never sullies the mix. In other words, it’s precisely what you’d expect from an album called Celebration Rock.
“I think we both felt like we had a lot to prove to ourselves and to everyone who knew about our band,” said Prowse. “We wanted people to know that Post-Nothing wasn’t a fluke and that we were capable of making a better record than that. I think that pressure ultimately pushed us to make a record we were really proud of and wanted the whole world to hear.”
Japandroids play Velvet Jones (423 State St.) with Cloud Nothings on Monday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Call (805) 965-8676 or visit newnoisesb.org for tickets and info.