Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Japandroids

Kind of a weird thought, but I have to admit: music will probably never mean more to me than it did when I was 16. Remember what it was like when "1979" came on the radio back then? I remember thinking that Billy Corgan knew me - that he really knew the places I knew, if only in the abstract. There was this sense that there was this entire burgeoning genre - "emo" - that was created solely to sooth suburban white kids who drank in parking lots and made out in movie theaters and hated their parents. It was hundreds of dudes with distortion pedals trying to coax meaning out of the pretty meaningless incubation that high school was, and in their self-obsession and melodramatics we were able to justify and glorify ourselves.

Whether it was 9/11 or Bush or whatever, I don't know, but the intervening decade or so has made that inward-looking Emo of the 90's feel somehow decadent in its self-absorption. Perhaps then, it is a sign of our recovering collective psyche that an "emo" band like Japandroids can succeed in 2009. With Dinosaur Jr. and the aforementioned Pumpkins as the most obvious references, these two dudes from Vancouver have melded the so-hot-right-now noise punk of No Age, Waaves, etc. with the earnest hooks of a Saves The Day, Foo Fighters, or anyone else who was on the Warped Tour in 1998. Yes, it's ridiculously simple music - power chords and lyrics about french kissing French girls are about the entirety of "Wet Hair", for example - but isn't it comforting to find that music like this still works on you? And that, to echo Pitchfork, maybe life isn't as complicated as we tend to make it?





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