Album review: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2014

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World


The feted duo pick up their guitars to retread old ground - but can they still cut it?

This year marks a decade since this Toronto tornado of a duo released their thrilling debut You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, earning them a legion of fans and launching hundreds of stripped-back pretenders gagging to tear down the walls with the sheer brutal force and willpower.

Way back then The Black Keys were still infatuated with chugging electric blues, The White Stripes were riding Elephant-high in the pop charts and The Kills were laying the skulking groundwork for The Dead Weather. Simply, there was no-one else blasting out brutal, sharp, gut-shuddering but groovy turbo-rock.

They went their separate ways, but a live reunion convinced them to return to the studio to pretty much pick up where they left off.

Right On, Frankenstein nails the compulsive, urgent and melodic chorus-and-riff they earned such respect with first time round, even throwing in a daring tempo-change in the final quarter, while Virgins throbs with all the predatory hormones you’d expect.

Lead single Trainwreck 1979 is the highlight, a lean bassline and galloping drums beckoning you to the dancefloor in time for a mosh-worthy chorus.

But it’s the synth-backed Crystal Ball where they start sounding like they’re treading heavy water instead of pile-driving through your innards – and slowie White Is Red is an ill-advised foray for vocalist-drummer Sebastien Grainger into actual singing.

But, worst of all, you can’t help but see this LP as having been comprehensively outflanked by the darlings of 2014, Royal Blood.

Rating: 3/5

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