The Definition of Youth: Japandroids – “Wet Hair”

Japandroids’ 2009 debut album Post-Nothing grabbed me from the start, especially “Wet Hair,” and it was originally hard to pinpoint why. All I knew was that it was three minutes and thirteen seconds of music that hit me like a rock and then resonated with me. Then I realized that the sounds in “Wet Hair” are certainly exciting in themselves, with the track’s aggressive guitar and frenetic drumming, but multitudes of songs can be described the same way. There’s more to this track than just the sounds you hear. It’s about the feeling you get.

I know, you’re probably like, “Whoa dude, cool it on the sappy cliches there.” But I’m serious. This song has an incredibly potent feeling–one that, to me, encompasses both the optimism and angst that comes from youth. Music truly transcends when it creates an atmosphere in which you can let your mind go to town, whether it’s recalling real memories or yearning for memories you wish you had. On “Wet Hair,” there’s no time for beauty or melodic instrumentation, which may put off many who listen to it, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about creating an atmosphere that recalls the sweet, destructive turmoil of youth.

“Wet Hair” sounds like an adrenaline rush. It sounds like a Friday night with endless possibilities. It sounds like graduation and finally escaping your prison-like high school. It sounds like getting over the girl (or guy) that dumped you last week. It sounds like a party on a hot summer’s night. It sounds like messing around with your friends in the parking lot behind the movie theater and deciding what the night still holds in store. It sounds like the urge to “get to France so we can French kiss some French girls!”

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