Death From Above 1979, “The Physical World”

Death-From-Above-1979_The-Physical-WorldDeath From Above 1979
The Physical World
LAST GANG/WARNER BROS.
7/10

In 2004, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine was released into the world in a furious frenzy. The album remains an unforgettable impression on the modern musical consciousness, a lasting and forever mark of youth, violence, sex, drugs, love, and hate. When we lost Death From Above 1979 in 2006, at least they left us something nice to remember them by. The (literal) drum-and-bass duo of Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler went down into the history books, but as it turns out, they weren’t quite finished with us yet. Thank god. The Physical World, the band’s second long-player, comes ten years after their debut, eight years after their break-up, and four years into their second wave.

On opener “Cheap Talk,” the band breaks out of the gate at alarming speed (making up for lost time?), an immediately more polished and refined (and, yes, mature) set of musicians than before but, hey, a lot happens in ten years. Grainger’s vocals, for one, are no less impassioned or effective, but he’s getting the message across more clearly and direct. Throughout, the undeniable, explosive chemistry of clamor between Grainger’s unrelenting cymbals and snare and Keeler’s formidable bass work is a familiar and welcome return.

There’s nothing as awesomely unforgiving as 2002 EP cut “Dead Womb” or YAWIAM’s title track on The Physical World; rather, the new tracks flow in the melodic, pop-pumping vein of “Romantic Rights”—the pummeling forces of “Little Girl” raging on in “Right On, Frankenstein,” and the sensual blush of “Sexy Results” blossoming on “Virgins” and “White Is Red.” (Though, it must be said, there’s nothing on this disc that matches the significance of the majority of its predecessor’s tracks.) Yet, all things considered, for an album that was never meant to be from a band we were supposed to let go of a long time ago, there’s still such thrills and pleasure in the resurrection of Death From Above 1979.

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