Sunday, January 22, 2006

Death From Above 1979 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine

Death From Above 1979 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine (3.5/5)

Death From Above 1979 play like new wave had a head on collision with metal. They're one of those bands with only two members; you know, like Local H or the White Stripes. While Local H hook their guitar up to a bass amp to put a little meat on their bones, and the White Stripes use the lack of a bass player to reinforce their retro sound, Death From Above 1979 don't really have an excuse. Maybe they just don't want to split their touring profits with a third party (my explanation for any bassless band). Their sound just isn't full enough. To be fair, they are at a deficit considering they play such danceable music, but they have left behind the instrument that could most easily serve their purpose. Without a bass player their grooves just aren't as effective.

Of course, these guys are damn good songwriters, and maybe that's why I'm being so hard on them--I think they could do better. Before I heard Death From Above 1979 I thought I was finished with any band that had even a hint of post-punk influence. I thought the market was saturated and there couldn't possibly be anything more out there. Unfortunatly for me Death From Above 1979 turned out to find a unique approach to the new wave phenomenon. They're good songwriters to be sure and have a handfull of excellent tracks on this album: "Romantic Rights," "Blood on Our Hands," and "Cold War" to name a few. All of these songs showcase the band at their most energetic, but when the songs start to slow down they really could use a bass player to accentuate their sound.

This certainly wasn't a bad CD (I gave it a positive score), but I think DFA79 is capable of more. Maybe all they need is a bass player to flesh ou their sound, or perhaps all they need are songs that more easily fit their lean sound. In either case, I'll be looking forward to what they come up with nexts.

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