Most of the world was introduced to Vancouver duo Japandroids via last year’s Post-Nothing, a fantastic full-length debut of raucous, shambling punk that ended up on numerous best-of lists. But the band’s history stretches back a few years before Post-Nothing, and the new collection No Singles capitalizes on Post-Nothing’s buzz by combining a couple of previously self-released EPs, 2007’s All Lies and 2008’s Lullaby Death Jams.
Post-Nothing wouldn’t fit anyone’s definition of “polished” (in a good way), and No Singles shows that the band’s earlier material established that lo-fi precedent. Brian King’s guitar is a wash of high-gain distortion, but it suits the chords he plays—somehow it avoids devolving into a muddy mess. Much of that comes from drummer David Prowse, whose hard beats cut through the wash and ground King’s guitar. Prowse’s rhythms make a huge difference in the seven-minute epic “Lucifer’s Symphony,” where his tempo shifts and beat choices change the character of the song, particularly in its final minute.
Although No Singles lacks the number of songs with killer hooks that Post-Nothing boasted (“Coma Complacency” almost makes up for it), the compilation basically offers more of what Post-Nothing delivered (again, in a good way). Fans of that album will find plenty to enjoy.