French kissing French girls: Japandroids @ Chop Suey 12.01.09December 4th, 2009 by travis hay
They do rock ‘n’ roll a little differently in Canada.
That’s the thought I walked away with after watching Vancouver, B.C. duo Japandroids at Chop Suey Tuesday night. The group made about as much noise as two people can during their 60-minute set, but don’t go mistaking their post-punk sounds for your typical unintelligible noise rock. As far as twosomes are concerned Japandroids’ brand of noise isn’t as polished as The White Stripes nor does it carry as much of a low-end thump as Local H. Guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse’s (aka Japandroids) garage rock sounds like some of the most awesome power rock you’ve heard disguised in the body of a Pitchfork-approved indie group.
Things started slow and the band was playing a little loose,
which could be racked up to the show being the group’s last U.S.
date on its three-month fall tour, but it was clear Prowse and King
were having a blast. As the set progressed Japandroids became more
and more of a two-headed beast of guitar and drums one song at a
time. When the band reached “Heart Sweats,” the second to last song
of the night, they had been firing on all cylinders for quite a
while and the sweaty moshed-out all-ages crowd were eating up every
drum hit, guitar squeal and sccream-along chorus. Before leaving
the stage King let slip the group’s next stop in the Evergreen
state. He told the crowd he’d be returning with Prowse to play a
festival in the spring. Can you say Sasquatch!?
Surfer Blood, another band favored by the Pitchfork crowd, took the stage before our friends to the great white north. The members of the quintet looked like they were straight out of junior college. The band featured a percussionist who wasn’t shy with his cowbells. He played his instruments like a crazy, hairy Muppet hopped up on a case of Red Bull and was extremely mesmerizing to watch. If the indie rock gods were just they would give him his own solo project stat.
Portland five-piece World’s Greatest Ghost opened the show. They showed plenty of potential with cute and catchy pop songs.The group’s adorable set-closing song about being chased by monster sounded like a musical chase scene. They were a perfect fit for the bill, unfortunately there wasn’t all that big of a crowd to witness their charming indie pop.