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Album Review: Japandroids – Massey Fucking Hall

Missing gigs? You definitely will be after hearing Japandroids’ brilliant new live album, Massey Fucking Hall

Recorded on October 24, 2017 at a show in Toronto, Japandroids’ live LP Massey Fucking Hall is getting the vinyl treatment after a digital release back in June. A fitting time capsule that contains everything that makes live music so special – roaring crowds, mass singalongs and musicians playing like their lives depend on it – it’s an opportune release in a year where the eradication of live events has savaged the music industry. If there’s one thing to take from Massey Fucking Hall, though, it’s the reminder that exhilarating performances like this one from Japandroids await when things eventually return to normality.

A by-product of the live setting in which this album was recorded is that Japandroids’ comparatively withheld brand of indie-punk gets ramped up to the max here, and the Canadian duo sound all the better for it. Opening the show with Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, there’s an added bite to the band’s sound that’s not as overtly present on their studio recordings, something that’s echoed on a rambunctious rendition of Fire’s Highway, and the urgent delivery of Heart Sweats and Younger Us. 

However, for all the sweaty, life-affirming heartland punk on offer, Japandroids retain a sense of poise and accomplishment, particularly on Arc Of Bar, where the duo ride out the track’s eight-minute-long groove to great effect. A superb dose of head-banging fun by way of The House That Heaven Built brings this record to a joyous conclusion, and caps off an experience courtesy of Japandroids that overflows with vitality. In the absence of shows, live albums of the quality of Massey Fucking Hall are a godsend.

Verdict: 4/5

For Fans Of: Cloud Nothings, The Hold Steady, FIDLAR 

Massey Fucking Hall is released on October 2 via ANTI-.

READ THIS: The 40 best punk albums since Never Mind The Bollocks

Posted on September 29th 2020, 12:00p.m.
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