Periodically rock ‘n’ roll loses its way and finds itself on an evolutionary dead end, or smothered beneath cheap nostalgia, and that’s when critics start coming heavy with the “Is Rock Dead?” trend pieces. In such times it often falls to one singular band to finish the job by symbolically killing rock ‘n’ roll, burying it, digging it back up, and kicking its decrepit corpse around, executing something like a hard reboot of the entire genre. I feel like right now is one of those times, and I think a lot of the excitement around the new Japandroids record is because people are looking for the right band to conduct this aesthetic ritual.
I’m not sold on Japandroids in this case because they’re too sentimental. It takes a cold-blooded band to get the job done. Or else a gang of Clockwork Orange-style hooligans. Like for instance scuzzball weirdos the Mummies, a defunct garage band who performed this essential service with a barrage of recordings in the early to mid-90s that sandblasted rock ‘n’ roll down to its bones and fed what was left through the shittiest amps money could buy.
Hit the jump to hear the deranged beauty of “Stronger Than Dirt.”