Live at Cockpit on Wednesday, 24th February 2010
This Canadian duo have been riding the crest of the hype machine for a few months now, their debut album Post Nothing clocked in for just about half an hour yet garnered enough interest from the Pitchfork sphere to catapult them into internet stardom. Would they cut the mustard live?
In short no, at least not in any conventional form. The two are under no pretence that they're the next earth shattering band, in fact they can only just about play - and definitely can't sing. Taking a swipe at the hype-merchants they act the prima donna rock star role, getting exasperated with the sound man and talking rubbish to a disaffected audience who aren't quite sure what to make of it. They've been lazily marked up as garage rock, but in fact the sound is more wall of noise Husker Du. Guitarist and vocalist Brian King plays with two sounds at once: big fuzzy distortion through one amp, trebly rattle through the other which creates the illusion of other band members. Vocals are shared by despondent looking drummer David Prowse whose slack drumming style is in the right measure against the intense din of King's melody.
Staying true to the rock star conduct there's a fan amongst the monitors to allow King a few hair waves guitar moments, complimented with posturing on the drum kit which raises a few smirks. They might have struggled with sound early on, but by the end of the set are back in their comfort zone and we get some of the choice album tracks like 'Crazy/Forever' which is a big hitter, even in their rudimentary style. Japandroids are quite obviously and unashamedly having fun while it lasts. Without doubt an entertaining live act that has some neat, noisy tunes and a good sense of humour but you might feel swizzed if you'd arrived for next big thing.