A Portrait of the Artist as a Thirtysomething Man

Rating: B+

Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of LifeJapandroids are a band that thrives on the edge. They nearly broke up before their first full-length album, 2009’s Post-Nothing, could even see the light of day. Then, after wrapping a massive tour behind their masterpiece follow-up, 2012’s Celebration Rock, they disappeared altogether for nearly three years. Now, with Near to the Wild Heart of Life, band members Brian King (guitar, vocals) and David Prowse (drums, vocals) are back with an eye toward sustainability, both in music and their personal lives.

Named after an iconic quote from James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Near to the Wild Heart of Life picks up where Joyce left off, with the protagonist leaving his stifling hometown behind on the title track. As the most traditional Japandroids song on the album, it’s a perfect starting point for long-time fans, not to mention a powerful anthem for aspiring musicians with its battle cry to get “fired up to go far away and make some ears ring from the sound of my singing.” Continue reading