Listen. We’re one day away from the biggest question mark in American history becoming the most powerful person on the planet. Our Congress has decided that endangered animals have had it too good for too long. And a year of catastrophic celebrity deaths has us all saying incantations over a picture of Betty White. All signs point to things getting pretty dark in the near future, but at least we have this new Japandroids album to woah oh some of our troubles away.
Near to the Wild Heart of Life is an eight-track blast of joyous rock, with the Canadian duo explicitly avoiding album bloat as a nod to rock history.
Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is eight songs,” the band said in a statement. “This is because eight songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album: Raw Power by The Stooges, Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen, Marquee Moon by Television, IV by Led Zeppelin, Horses by Patti Smith, Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Remain In Light by Talking Heads, Master Of Puppets by Metallica, etc.”
Keeping that no-filler attitude, the eight tracks form two separate narratives: one for the A-Side of the album and one for the B-Side.
“Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP,” the band said. “On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue.”
We haven’t had enough time with the album to suss this out, but we can tell you that it’s a great time. Stream Near To The Wild Heart Of Life via NPR below: