‘Celebration Rock’ starts and ends with fireworks. The 35 minutes inbetween are a barnstorming mix of driving rhythms, gargantuan hooks and glistening guitars, as well as lyrics celebrating friendships born out of drinking and singing the night away. Having essentially broken up even before their first album was released, Japandroids have condensed their influences (Husker Du, Black Sabbath, Superchunk) and personalities into an almost perfect record. The lyrics are more refined than on ‘Post-Nothing’, but not pretentiously so.

The pop-punky ‘Adrenaline Nightshift’ channels early Springsteen (“I’ll rattle the sabre of the streets”), and the glorious, singalong climax ‘The House That Heaven Built’ contains the impossibly romantic lines: “When they love you/and they will/tell them all, they’ll love in my shadow”. Japandroids never intended to become the world’s best rock band, but with this album they might have just shoved compatriots Fucked Up off of that particular throne.

By Matthias Scherer

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