PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Japandroids: No Singles

This compilation of Japandroids’ early EP’s only highlights how breathtaking their debut LP is and how far the band has come.


Japandroids

No Singles

Label: Polyvinyl
US Release Date: 2010-05-11
UK Release Date: 2010-05-11
Label Website
Artist Website
Amazon
iTunes

The Japandroids’ debut LP, Post-Nothing, endeared itself to me and, presumably, many other fans with its brazen love lust and ragged earnestness. Well, that coupled with an eight-pack of slash-and-burn SST punk abundant with melody and hooks. Lyrics like “We used to dream / Now we worry about dying / I don’t wanna worry about dying / I just worry those sunshine girls” and “We run the gauntlet / Let’s go to France / So we can French-kiss some French girls” are mission statements that we all happily scrambled to get behind. The Japandroids exhibited an honest-to-god lust for life, and made it clear that irony and cynicism are not native to Vancouver.

Unfortunately, all of the above attributes are in short supply on No Singles, a reissue/compilation of the two EPs that the band released prior to Post-Nothing: All Lies and Lullaby Death Jams. The band shows plenty of promise on these teeth-cutting EPs, but there’s nothing present that would lead listeners to believe the Japandroids were capable of the heights reached on Post-Nothing. Most of all, the band’s pile-driving hooks just aren’t there.

In the win column: the Zen Arcade-channeling, metallic crunch of Brian King’s guitar, which has always been one of the band’s biggest selling points. Also: David Prowse’s jackhammer drum fills. I know this may not sound like much, but even on their weakest tracks, the band still provides a joyous, visceral rush. That said, a couple of songs are a genuine chore to get through. The plodding “Lucifer’s Symphony” does itself exactly zero favors by dragging on for seven minutes. Their flailing cover of Mclusky’s “To Hell With Good Intentions”, with its awkward, falsetto bleating, seems like little more than a drunken goof recorded on the fly.

If you’re looking for standout tracks, “Sexual Aerosol” comes closest to the caliber and fist-pumping swagger of Post-Nothing, but the majority of No Singles falls under the admittedly lazy umbrella of “b-side material". Ultimately, this all feels a bit irrelevant because we know the story has a happy ending: the Japandroids released their phenomenal debut LP, Post-Nothing and will, more than likely, continue kicking ass and taking names. No Singles is the Japandroid’s origin story. It is filled with the stumbles, growing pains and nods to their influences that serve to remind us a band’s conception is rarely perfect.

5

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.

Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Television

The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.

Music

The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller
Music

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.

Music

When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

Music

20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.

Music

The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.

Books

Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.

Music

Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."

Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

Film

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.

Film

The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.

Music

Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.

Music

'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.

Music

Matt Berninger Takes the Mic Solo on 'Serpentine Prison'

Serpentine Prison gives the National's baritone crooner Matt Berninger a chance to shine in the spotlight, even if it doesn't push him into totally new territory.

Music

MetalMatters: The Best New Heavy Metal Albums of September 2020

Oceans of Slumber thrive with their progressive doom, grind legends Napalm Death make an explosive return, and Anna von Hausswolff's ambient record are just some of September's highlights.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.