Japandroids attempt to dismantle the theory that artists, like twenty-somethings, need to develop things like balance, pacing, and maturity, opting for an adrenaline-fueled forty minutes of non-stop riffage, distortion and a complete and utter refusal to grow up. And like you would expect from a bunch of aggressive kids with guitars and a penchant for yell-alongs, a lot of that attitude is explicit.The album begins with the sound of fireworks, and first song "The Nights of Wine and Roses" immediately makes the claim that we should keep smoking and drinking until we have something to live for -- the quintessential false dilemma of young adulthood. Japandroids urge us to stay in that place of quarter-life identity crisis because apart from the uncertainty, it's fun and exciting to be staring at so many paths at once, or more realistically, it's fun to be recklessly wasted all the time.
Many of the songs not only thematically harken back to carefree days, but also elicit the feelings of explosive excitement of, as a plain-slate kid, discovering a truly affecting song for the first time. "The House That Heaven Built," a supernova of hooks and power chords, brings the album's themes to a massive head, suggesting a childhood home versus the true nature of the burgeoning adult. More interestingly, this is pure, honest, Celebration Rock -- the fist pumping, beer crushing, "tell 'em all to go to hell" mentality permeates throughout, no matter what the subject matter. To make something so consistently fun is no easy task -- considering the desire of most artists to say something meaningful as well as entertaining, and the fact that the two don't always mix. But Japandroids conjure an impressive two-for-one deal by keeping their ruminations on life in one gear, summoning exuberant feelings with their tunes and attitudinal analysis with their thoughts. But most importantly, it's forty minutes of pure, concentrated fun, and the older we all get, the more we desperately need to remember what it feels like.