Japandroids' sound is like a sunny day suddenly taken hostage by an afternoon rainstorm. Bright vocals ring out from behind a wall of distorted, cloudy riffs. It evokes a celebratory moment born out of wistful nostalgia—not necessarily pure happiness, but the kind of complex delirium that marks the end of a post-breakup depression.
On Post-Nothing, the Vancouver, B.C., duo does what all good duos do: inflates the sound enough to make it seem like many more are kicking up all that noise. Still, the delivery is coolly detached and often not all that gripping. Sections of "The Boys Are Leaving Town" and "Wet Hair" suffer from muddled blandness. Others, like "I Quit Girls," mire in waves of repetitive instrumentation. Lyrical-ly, the latter song seems intently—and cheaply—focused on that unattainable, enigmatic girl that hip boys like and that girls like me curse for being so undeservedly revered. But maybe that's my problem?
"Young Hearts Spark Fire," on the other hand, is flooded with catchy beats and lyrics lamenting lost youth ("Oh! We used to dream! Now we worry about dyin'.") "Heart Sweats" has arena rock resonance making it extremely inviting. When they're not being too aloof, Japandroids makes for good cataclysmic fun.
Japandroids plays the Palace Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 9 PM with Bacon & Egg and Velcro Kicks. $9/$7 advance at Ear Candy Music.