Some of the best that rock has to offer is all about throwing caution to the wind. It’s about liberation. It’s about big dreams and an even bigger heart. It’s about never settling and scouring every inch of earth for something more. And since Vancouver duo Japandroids unleashed their debut Post-Nothing in ’09, there haven’t been many rock bands more adept at folding all those ideas into one song and having it kick major ass.
New single “Near to the Wild Heart of Life,” title track and first single from their first LP in four years, thrillingly replicates a lot of what Brian King and Dave Prowse do so well together. The song barrels forward like the train in Unstoppable or Ezekiel Elliott trying to get a first down. There’s just such a steady momentum in the “We’ve gotta get out of this place” verses that seems unsustainable, until the chorus hits and only pushes harder. “And it got me all fired up, to go far away,” King and Prowse sing in unison as the drums flail more and the riffs fly faster. King said in an article about the new record, “The idea of what intensity means is evolving. It doesn’t necessarily mean screaming or jumping around or flailing about or being really loud or playing really fast.” There’s precious little evidence of that in the title track. What we have here are two dudes rushing headlong into the void, without the slightest fear of the unknown.
It’s just damn good to finally have Japandroids back. The tracklist to Near to the Wild Heart of Live, which is out January 27th via Anti-, is down below:
1. “Near to the Wild Heart of Life”
2. “North East South West”
3. “True Love and a Free Life of Free Will”
4. “I’m Sorry (For Not Finding You Sooner)”
5. “Arc of Bar”
6. “Midnight to Morning”
7. “No Known Drink or Drug”
8. “In a Body Like a Grave”