Wednesday 1 October 2014

Review of 'The Physical World' by Death From Above 1979

Anyone who was starting to fear rock n roll was dead should check out this record. 

After a decade’s break, this Canadian rock duo return with their second full-length album. The riffs are loud and infectious, soaked in fuzz and set to groovy drum patterns (cowbell included!). The vocals meanwhile are energetic and in-your-face. ‘Where have all the virgins gone?’ sounds the risqué hook on the third track. There’s no pussyfooting around here lyrically.

 I haven’t listened to the band’s much raved debut album, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, so I can’t say whether Death from Above are at the same level as they were ten years ago. However, from a first-time listener’s perspective, this is easily one of the best rock records I’ve heard all year. The pacing is brilliant, alternating between fast thrashy chugs, mid-tempo grooves and several slower sludgy moments including the ballad, ‘White is Red’ (in fact, calling it a ballad might be a bit of a stretch), and the symphonic closing title track, ‘The Physical World’. There are lots of creative moments peppered throughout too. The guitar squeals on ‘Gemini’ sound almost alien.

‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘Nothing Left’ are probably the weakest tracks here and the album’s only let-downs. They lack the power and memorability of other songs. This doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a very solid release though and one i'll be jamming for weeks.