Steve Wilson. On music.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Japandroids - Post-Nothing (Polyvinyl)

I’m driving the wife’s car. There’s gas in it. That’s a plus. And it doesn’t need a timing belt. My poor old Volvo, though, has one superior feature - a fancy direct input for an iPod; her car has no such.

Accordingly, I pack up the compact disc wallet (so 90s, baby!) with classics (Ramones, Stones, Big Star) and current crap I am a) digging, b) curious to check out, or c) have told some promo dude I’d audition.

Eddie, my astute sixteen year-old son, flips through the wallet, not finding exactly what he wants. He’s used to the world at his iTunes/Spotify fingertips. At last he settles on the Japandroids, their new album Post-Nothing.

He asks me how it is. I respond that it rocks, the tunes are alright, and it seems like something of an indie-rock cause célèbre. In other words, I sorta like it, but I don't get what the fuss is about. Eddie said that some of his friends keep talking about them. Fair enough.

I keep my mouth shut and let him listen.

After three songs he’s handing me the Super Furry Animals disc Hey Venus! (exclamation pt, theirs).

“Had enough,” I inquire.

“Yeah“ he says, “it’s kinda boring.”

At which point I volunteer that I observe the following: 

1.  With aggressive rock music the farther the singer gets from any African- American influence whatsoever the more flaccid, white and suburban it sounds to me. 
2.  That, and they have too many “oh, oh, oh” lyrics, chants, background vocals, whatever (they use them a lot!) making my oi-mo (I think that covers the gamut of fist pumping ‘punk’ genres … oi to emo) tolerance quickly exhausted. 
3.  Generally, this music is vibrant. I don’t hate it. It entertains me in short blasts (like the cover of the Gun Club's "For the Love of Ivy"). But the songs are too long, too samey and the whole dude thing just isn’t very hip shakin'.

Eddie nods in assent.

‘I don’t like the drumming” Eddie adds. “Too busy,” I say. “Yeah,” Eddie responds.

Reverberating: 7. 4