Alcohol has been known to influence the decisions of many people, decisions both good and bad over decades of time. It distorts the perception's of people's realities and enables them to do smart things and not so smart things. It will also help you realize what some of the better things in life are so then, even when sober, you are then a fan of certain cacophonous sounds.
How alcohol influenced my boredom and then total admiration for Japandroids.
It was maybe a month ago now and it was a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon. I had a late night and I didn't sleep much. When I finally got around to putting on Post-Nothing around 3PM, I immediately was bored by it. It might have just been that the grating guitars and high tinned sounds of the cymbals crashing (or could we even say, eating the guitars - boo ya!) putting much emphasis on my headache, but I just wasn't feeling it. The last song, "I Quit Girls", I thought that was an alright one, but the other seven songs just kind of didn't do it for me.
A co-worker, he told me about the band right before Pitchfork put them on the map with that Best New Music thumb up their ass. He said he could see me totally getting in to it. And after a second go around I had stood with him on the side that it's better together listening to it as a whole album; one song out of context standing alone doesn't work so well.
At some point in the past week or two, "Rockers East Vancouver," it became a early contender for a summer anthem. The way the drums marched in before the guitars blast out of left field. It was catchy and hooky without a lead part - that's right kids, it's all rhythm. Like the great duos of No Age and Local H before them, the 'roids are just two dudes who hail from Vancouver, making blistering loud rock. But what's put them ahead of No Age (for me, at least. You, faithful reader, might just think I'm wrong) is that it's immediately catchier. Like with most things I tend to like lately (see: Abe Vigoda), I like a good hunt, a good challenge where I am forced to look for the melodies buried underneath murky production and huge drums and back and forth vocal delivery.
Brian and David, that's the names of the Japandroids, they used to dream and never worried about dying. Their main concerns were those sunshine girls, people! They are two guys who might just wear their hearts on their sleeves. Maybe, in a sense, Post-Nothing is some sort of concept record that should be called Love, Canadian via-LA SoundStyle. As you go through the album they sing of french kissing French girls ("Wet Hair") and use the endearing phrase "x-o-x-o-x!" ("Heart Sweats") before it all ends in the drones and defeat of the above mentioned "I Quit Girls". They also sing of doing all the other angsty teen things like getting laid, getting paid and getting drunk, which brings me back to how this story started...
Like when I finally understood and got in to Animal Collective, I was having a few beers at the time when I put this record back on for its final shot. Three Miller High Life's in and I was sold; the record immediately was on repeat for the entire weekend while sober. I'm not trying to promote alcoholism, nor do I have a drinking problem, it's just that sometimes something comes along, a variable, and influences your opinion on things and helps you grasp the concept and understand everything better. The moral of the story, boys and girls, is that some things are attractive even when the beer goggles come off.
Download: "Young Hearts Spark Fire" [mp3]