I’m psyched about this weekend’s Japandroids show at Yuyingtang.
I spent, like, an hour (or a good five minutes) trying to think up clever android-esque puns for the title of this article, but all I could muster was “Do Japandroids Dream of Electric Sheep?” which is actually pretty good (and literary!) but I think I’m gonna save that for the post-show review. For some reason the word “Japandroid” reminds me of all the alleged sex robots that Japanese engineers have been promising us for years. Every other country is developing robots for surgery and disabled home care and space journeys and Japan’s developing them for sex. But guess who’s going to come out the winner in that android race, eh?
Anyway, on to the band, which as far as I know has nothing to do with sex robots.
Japandroids is a duo from Vancouver — David Prowse on drums and Brian King on guitar. Both guys share vocals, though Brian’s more the lead. I’d describe them as a noise rock/garage rock blend with overblown guitars and a little punk — a bit messy and loud and frantic and fun to listen to. Their music is bigger than you’d expect to hear from a two piece, and not just because of volume, though they are pretty loud. Good and loud.
Their first album, Post-Nothing, was released in 2009 and is fantastic, especially considering that they recorded it on their own dime and then decided that they sucked and the band was going nowhere and they were going to call it quits. They self-released the album, did no promotion, then, of course, got signed because the music industry works backwards! Pitchfork picked up on the album, loved it because it’s legitimately really good, and they were off. I’ve been re-listening to Post-Nothing all week in preparation for the show and it still sounds good.
They released another album called Celebration Rock in 2012 but I just got it this week so haven’t had the chance to give it a good listen to yet, though it does sound on the surface a bit more polished and melodic, still a ruckus, and possibly even better than their debut. Definitely better produced but thankfully not over-produced.
They’re here in China with Split Works, so I expect good things. And I’ve heard they’re pretty stellar live as well. They’ll be in Beijing on August 23rd and here in Shanghai on the 24th. Pre-sale tickets are still available here, and I imagine it’s going to be massively crowded in Yuyintang for this show; like, soldout-and-hopefully-someone-isn’t-crushed-to-death crowded, so I’m expecting a good time!
Also, Himdong and Death to Giants — both Shanghai-based bands — will be opening for Japandroids. Both are bands I really like right now but I haven’t seen either of them in a few months so it’ll be cool to see what they’ve been up to.