On a newly released outtake from 2008’s Post-Nothing, the drums-and-guitar duo Japandroids starts with a “Hey!” before letting its full assault of sludged-out angst begin. Like he’s writing a My Bloody Valentine track on a bad trip, guitarist Brian King builds a wall of noise behind a sporadic dance beat courtesy of drummer David Prowse, bringing some ambient-punk ruckus with new-school emo lyrics like, “We don’t have to be like they are / On the heavenward grand prix.” The track builds a steady groove before tearing it down again and starting over. Between disjointed bursts of drummer-boy percussion and faux-anthemic lyrics, this is what “Sunday Bloody Sunday” would sound like on Psychocandy. Japandroids takes as many cues from the early ’80s underground as it does from today’s art-damaged punk acts like No Age.

Japandroids

“Heavenward Grand Prix”
Polyvinyl

With “Grand Prix,” the band maintains its moody, minimalist approach to pumping out gothic, frustrated anthems, but there’s nothing too compelling here to reward repeated listens. King’s dingy guitar is too stagnant and dull. And whatever momentum the song builds, the band quickly rejects. The track has bite — and makes plenty of noise — but it’s pretty clear why this was left off the album.

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