Japandroids – Massey Fucking Hall

With plenty of touring and live events canceled due to lockdowns and social distancing restrictions from Covid-19, those of us who are craving for live music are forced to rely on online sources to satisfy our needs. Patiently getting our fix from off-angle phone recordings with poor lighting and crowds yelling and heckling in the background.

 Thankfully a lot of artists are releasing live performances online. One of which is Vancouver’s Japandroids, with their new release entitled Massey Fucking Hall. This was recorded during their tour in 2017 and named after the band’s stop in a legendary Toronto venue with years of history behind it. A stage that has graced the likes of George Gershwin, Neil Young and Rush. 

The punk and alt/rock duo’s discography has the energy and grit that’s best suited for tightly spaced clubs and outdoor venues. Yet this fact doesn’t seem to faze singer-guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse in the slightest (despite them alluding to the contrary), as they still manage to deliver their signature sound to the 3000-seat theatre. No small feat from a two-man group.

The forthcoming album features 12 tracks taken from the group’s 3 LPs and clocks in at just above 1 hour. Signature heavy hitters like “Young Hearts Spark Fire”, “Heart Sweats” and fan favorite “Younger Us” are nestled in between later hits such as headliner “Near To The Wild Heart Of Life” and the electrifying “North East South West.” Some songs like “Continuous Thunder” and “Arc of Bar” are given a fresh coat of paint. The collection concludes in Celebration Rock’s “The House That Heaven Built” where the Prowse and King’s vocals intertwine with the crowd in a beautiful celebration. A cathartic end that leaves us missing concerts even more.

Massey Fucking Hall breathes new life into the band’s discography. What you’re hearing is a band performing at their best on a well-renowned stage and on the final leg of the tour. Every strum of the guitar and pound of the drum is full of precision from a well-oiled unit, every chorus is filled with passion and dedication to a loud and cheering fanbase. It captures the visceral quality of a live performance that you can’t get from a regular recording. Re-contextualizing its songs and shedding a new light to the band. This isn’t just a retelling of old material, this is a completely new addition to their discography. One that seasoned fans can and newer listeners alike can enjoy.

Massey Fucking Hall is out on June 19th digitally and on vinyl October 2nd.

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