Friday, 21st September 2018. 10:25:19am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Death from Above 1979- You're a Woman, I am a Machine
Artist: Death from Above 1979
CD Title: You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
Label: Vice Records
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 10/11/05

Recently making a splash by opening for some relatively obscure band by the name of Nine Inch something-or-other, Death from Above 1979 prove they're far more than a throwaway opener on their formidable debut. On You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, Death from Above 1979 throw out an array of energetic riff-driven rock; crunchy electronic-infused songs driven by steady, intense drums and built around catchy, aggressive bass guitar hooks. Vocally, the album is a layered, spastic, emotive blend of controlled alt rock vocals, punk yelps, hair metal wails, and grunge screams. Likely to draw comparisons to The White Stripes, perhaps as much for their steady rhythms and pop sensibilities as their somewhat minimalist bass/drum/synth instrumentation, the band's sound hinges half on brilliant pop simplicity and half on raw power and intensity. While it flies by in a mere 35 minutes, over half of the disc's 11 tracks being under 3 minutes long, it's a compelling blend of retro punk/post-punk energy and modern alternative rock with new wave undertones.

Top tracks here include the utterly infectious and danceable "Blood on our Hands", the powerful "Black History Month", almost bringing to mind The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", and the funky closer "Sexy Results", complete with bongo loops and handclaps. That said, there are few tracks here that aren't worth mentioning. The opening "Turn It Out" is a powerful slice of controlled chaos with thunderous drums, followed by the bouncy bass groove-driven "Romantic Rights". "Going Steady" sports a particularly memorable stilted melody, while the layered wobbly snarl and punchy new wave bassline and synths of the fairly brief "Go Home, Get Down" are equally captivating. Another viciously catchy bass riff, accented by a toe-tapping, head-bopping drum rhythm, forms the frame of "Little Girl". "Cold War" and the disc's title track are both fairly straightforward rockers, the former balancing pounding drums and intensity with impressive melodic work, the latter favoring speed and energy more than melody save for a spectacular meandering bass finale.

As a whole, You're a Woman, I'm a Machine is an extremely consistent offering sans lulls. In fact, at the point where most bands would fall into ballad territory, Death from Above 1979 impressively up the tempo and finish with more adrenaline than they started, culminating in the under-2-minute burst of energy known as "Pull Out". Well produced, albeit delightfully raw enough that it's very organic and intuitive, it's a stunning blend of retro and modern that really transcends genres, likely appealing to the hard rock crowd, punks, modern alt rockers, and new wave/post-punk fans alike. With plenty of energy, a fair amount of musical depth, and melodies that are infectious enough that they'll be running on repeat play in your head after one listen, this one's highly recommended.

 

Death from Above 1979 website: www.deathfromabove1979.com

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