After making waves earlier this decade with their first two albums, Canadian duo Japandroids went mysteriously quiet until very recently. The band's punk-inspired sound seemed to have been extinguished after no news or new music from the pair arrived for more than five years. But now, they have returned and just like most bands around the planet right now, have used the recent crises around the world as the main inspiration of this new full-length.
The sound of 'Near To The Wild Heart Of Life' is a really difficult one to pin down, mainly because their musical direction seems to be more in line with The Clash-era punk rock, but with an almost country flair thrown in on top. It makes the record an almost confusing listen at times, but once you get over it, you realise that they are just a couple of guys having fun, and that quickly becomes the most apparent part of this release.
Ultimately, the record does seem a little dated and disingenuous at times. Mainly because the anger and disappointment they sing about, don't always fit the tone of the song itself. Still, plenty to get your teeth into here if this is your bag.