Japandroids: <dʒəpændrɔjds> noun.
Definition- Meaning, a band of two people that sounds like there are six playing. Example: Japandroids played the 02 Institute last Friday night and it’s surprising the building is still standing.
On a serious note though, Japandroids, newspeaks answer to rock music and Canada’s answer to ear canal surgery did just two things with their performance in Birmingham; they played loud and they played long. Backed by a small Brummie faithful crowd full of beards, beers and bile, the Canadian duo turned up with all the amps in the West Midlands and to borrow a sporting analogy, they left it all out there on the stage.
Packed into the small room of the Institute which is a stage and area that feels like it’s fallen down the back of the sofa, the whole evening had that trademark feeling of a campus gig gone right. See, Japandroids don’t really wait around much to get themselves going, they basically skip the musical equivalent of foreplay and just go hell for leather right out the gate. They’re a kiss me quick, shaft me later sort of band.
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On a shoebox stage that’s about the size of your fingernails with a back lit set up comprised of soft blues and sunburnt oranges it looked as if there a cryogenic lab explosion happening behind them as the belted out fast paced drum driven song one after the other. With their heads thrown back and their eyes scrunched up as well as multicoloured spotlights flickering onto them it was if there a Triple H light show going on in a cramped, sweaty corner of Birmingham.
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Putting it frankly, Japandroids abuse their equipment. Seriously, someone out there set up a Patreon account for David Prowse’s drum set to stop the abuse. No drum kit deserves that sort of pummelling for an hour and a half every night even if the noise it makes is gargantuan to the point of pain becoming bliss. Japandroids are loud and then they’re loud and then they’re louder, an old school mix of The Sonics and Tom Petty with a faint wisp of Husker Dü sprinkled in over the top for good measure.
The surprising thing is they’re very quiet when they’re not being deafening. And it does get to the point sometimes where it is a little ‘sound and fury signifying nothing’ when there’s no change up thrown in amongst all the repeated high heat fastball punk rock. But that’s who they are and who they play like. Japandroids will make you remember them, even if it does mean you wake up with shattered eye sockets and the ringing ears you wake up with after spending an hour and a half standing in front of their great wall of noise.