Walking down the hallways at KEXP, I heard an explosive, enthusiastic burst of guitars and drums emanating from our in-studio space. The sound was huge, so imagine my surprise when I peeked into the room and saw two scrawny young men, each playing furiously. Japandroids may be a duo, but it sure doesn't sound like one.
I was stunned to see Japandroids rocking so hard, especially since I'd heard that guitarist Brian King had had emergency surgery for a life-threatening perforated ulcer earlier this year. But, as he said in an interview on the KEXP Blog, "I have to be able to rock out."
And rock he did. The Vancouver-based duo of King and drummer David Prowse played so passionately, even KEXP DJ Cheryl Waters got exhausted, just watching. The crashing cymbals, the frantic strumming — it was truly exhilarating. And, just when I thought they couldn't heighten the intensity of their performance, they busted out a cover of Big Black's "Racer X."
By the time they'd finished their finale, "Young Hearts Spark Fire," both boys were wiping the sweat off their faces. Cheryl insists that King had rocked so hard, his scar was bleeding through his T-shirt. Now that's punk rock.
Originally recorded June 16, 2009. Engineered by Kevin Suggs.