Friday, July 17, 2020

Adult entertainment?

I'm sceptical of the concept of live albums at the best of times - there are so many factors that mean a record can never really hope to come close to approximating or recreating the gig experience (more's the pity, in the current context).

Which meant that, despite being a fan of Japandroids, I wasn't hugely bothered about checking out Massey Fucking Hall even before I read Pitchfork's review, which argues that the LP strips the band of their "wild utopian energy" and instead leaves them sounding "reliable and downright professional". That's surely something that no one who's had the good fortune to witness them in the flesh would want.

Admittedly, my love for the duo is less ardent than it was when I first clapped ears on them a decade ago. Back then, songs like 'Young Hearts Spark Fire', 'Younger Us' and 'The Nights Of Wine And Roses' really struck a chord - fist-pumping punk rock anthems for late twentysomethings/early thirtysomethings already nostalgic for a youth that they were still desperately trying to cling on to.

Ten years on, and I understand Jeremy Gordon's argument that Japandroids are "the most embarrassing band I love the most", and especially his comments about their lyrics being "cornily overwritten" and "reify[ing] all the facet of rock 'n' roll mythology that I've grown increasingly distant from in my adulthood".

Like Gordon, though, I'm not about to renounce them. The thirst for that nostalgia for youth hasn't gone away, after all - it's arguably got stronger, and been supplemented by a nostalgia for the halycon days of late-night house parties and ATP festivals to which Japandroids were the soundtrack.

Excuse me while I stick on Post-Nothing, crack open a can and feel all the feels.

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