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Japandroids preview

| October 7, 2009 | 0 Comments

Schubas, Chicago
October 9 + 10, 2009


Nearly 20 years ago, Mac McCaughan adenoidally howled “Slack Motherfucker” above a din that was only just being recognized as indie rock. He, on Superchunk’s essential single, was chiding a lazy, fellow Kinko’s employee. Japandroids, using two mouths to pierce essentially the same din, are now singing about girls.

It would be easy to end the post here and chuck Post-Nothing (Polyvinyl) onto the recycled-music recycle pile, but, like No Age (and unlike Vivian Girls), Japandroids’ debut is juuuuust tuneful enough to keep you listening. In that sense, “The Boys Are Leaving Town” and “Heart Sweats” might as well be card-carrying indie pop songs, instead of the faux-noise the cognoscenti would have you believe. A suspicious person might infer that the fuzz is meant to disguise a fault or distract from a weakness, but in Post-Nothing‘s case, I tend to agree with the press release: Garage-band duos have become a modern-rock infestation, and Japandroids will do just about anything to sound bigger (except the logical thing, which is hire more people).

If they do, it better not be a female bassist, because then we’d have to revisit the Superchunk thing.

Little Girls, who open Saturday’s show, are (run!) another noisy duo, and they too are having distortion issues (unless someone next door was drying their hair while Concept (Paper Bag) was recorded). Though heavily indebted to the Peter Hook’s basslines and the buzzsaw of early Jesus & Mary Chain, Little Girls aren’t nearly as abrasive, motorbiking past at a missile-like 100 m.p.h. (the album’s 11 tracks last a mere half hour). While Japandroids’ melodies color their fuzz, this Toronto-based outfit use it to maintain a mood which would be steadier if it weren’t slightly pitched downward.

The Coathangers open for Japandroids on the 9th

— Steve Forstneger

Click here to download Japandroids’ “Young Hearts Spark Fire.”

Click here to download Little Girls’ “Tambourine.”

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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