Japandroids show self-reliance in Near To The Wild Heart of Life

The newest album by the Vancouver indie punk-rock group is, in so many words, absolutely killer. The eight song album stands strong among their repertoire. Strong drums and incredible lyrics can quicken the pace of any heart. This is Rock n’ Roll at its finest: two guys (Brian King and David Prowse) succeeding to find the Wild Heart of Life.

This album continues themes of self-reliance and venturing far outside of one’s hometown. It exhibits all the feelings of angst and frustration that living a mundane life entails, and if you are feeling restless this album will fire you up to go on new adventures. In other words, this is excellent road trip music.

There is a strong sense of the surreal dreaminess of unapologetic exploration and an independence that comes with a life tied only to the wind. This theme is exceptionally prevalent in the song “In A Body Like A Grave.”

The longest track, “Arc of Bar” tells the tale of taking refuge in a humid southern city, and an exceptional amount of drinking. It feels like a weeks long bender being regaled a few months later, as if trying to recall the events resting firmly in a haze. If possible I would enjoy a trip to this arc of bar, if only it existed in more than a song.

Gotta love smokin’ phosphorus. Left to right: Prowse and King

In 2017, they are going on a world tour spanning from Washington D.C. to Amsterdam, and most places in between. Sadly, they won’t be passing through Knoxville.  However, I hope that I get a chance to see them live. The true power of punk music is the energy and unique community when you are in the crowd. The community of equality, when you are smacked up against a bunch of sweaty people everyone is a similar giant mass of  bodies. That community is at the core of the Japandroids, the appeal of individuality intertwined with the many strange and wild people that inevitably show up on the road. The rage against staying stuck, and the difficulty of leaving. These themes tie the band to a wild heart that encompasses life.