ANTI- Records – January 27th

The follow up to acclaimed album Celebration Rock has been a long time coming for Vancouver’s frat-noise duo Japandroids, and as it rides in on the drum-rolling, barbed-wire crescendo of the opening track, you’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing’s changed. As the wave breaks though, it’s clear that their sound has been fine-tuned. Vocals, and consequently lyrics, are more prominent; the trademark mono-syllabic shouts are kept to a minimum; Southern rock sounds are cranked up and toes are even dipped in country influenced, acoustic guitar (’North, East, South, West’ in particular). Melodies and melancholia feature more than ever (‘I’m sorry’ and ‘Midnight To Mourning’) and all over loose-ends have been tied up and swept away. The band have grown up, but it sounds like they ain’t having half as much fun.

Buy: Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

Live: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – May 6th