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Japandroids rock my world

 Japandroids' latest album is full of the sort of screaming, unadulterated love that the best rock 'n' roll strives for.
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Date published: 10/4/2012

By Jonas Beals


A lot of rock music has been described as "anthemic" in the past 10 years, in what I assume is an attempt to compare today's bands to what rocked our worlds when we were teenagers. Mostly, it amounts to manipulative movie-score tricks: a louder chorus or more instruments onstage.

Every one of the eight tracks on "Celebration Rock" is an anthem, not by virtue of its size--there are only two people in this band--but because this is desperate music. It is an album prefigured (or prayed for) by Walt Whitman's "barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world." It was designed to do nothing less than make you put your fist through your cubicle wall in joy. Springsteen is smirking.

It's the sort of rock that makes going deaf a worthwhile side effect of cranking your headphones up. It makes you want to buy 5-foot-tall stereo speakers.

I know this isn't music for everyone. It's loud, it's aggressive and it's frayed at the edges. For those reserved folks out there, know that it might inspire fits of head-banging.

But aren't we all looking for inspiration? That's the sort of thing that takes time to find.

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com

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JONAS' IN-TOWN PICK: Danny Barnes at The Otter House. A banjo whiz and country-punk crazy man. You might know him from Bad Livers or Robert Earl Keen's band. Tuesday at 10 p.m. OUT-OF-TOWN PICK: Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion. ZZ Top, Jack White, M83, Ben Folds Five, Alabama Shakes and more. Saturday at noon. LISTENING TO: "Welcome to the Terrordome" by Public Enemy. Hip-hop made when sampling was still free, legal and a mind-bending art form.