Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

by Brian Lange. Rating:8 Release Date:2014-09-08

Death From Above 1979 don’t waste any time throwing you into their new record, The Physical World. Has it really been 10 years since their first record, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine?  Wikipedia describes their sound as dance-punk and noise-pop. That’s fairly accurate, but there’s a good element of whiny MTV pop-punk here as well. That’s not meant to be demeaning, but this record has a significant amount of production and polishing that wasn't found on the first album, which was much more raw and harsh. 

This 'new' sound could perhaps be attributed to a compromise between founding members Sebastian Grainger and Jesse Keeler, who purportedly were having creative differences and disputes on musical style. This sound, though a little more poppy ('Always On' and 'Crystal Ball' come to mind), sounds more mature than the first record. Again, I use the world 'polished' here to emphasize that it just has a generally cleaner sound that will probably appeal to a wider range of listeners. 

The first single, 'Trainwreck 1979', might be the least single-worthy track of them all. What may be the most radio-friendly simply stands out as the least like the others on the record, but it's undoubtedly a superb track which will want you to get up and bounce around the dancefloor. Some of the other tracks, such as 'Government Trash' are quite brutal and even conjure up images of people thrashing in a mosh pit, giving further credence to the punk influence. 

Fans of the first record won’t be deterred too much with this new one. The spirit and overall sound of DFA1979 is still there, it has simply blossomed into a beautiful tulip. The noise has evolved slightly; many of the harsh head-bopping beats remain, but a bubbly sound is present in the new work. A different breath of air for the old fans, and a decent introduction for the newbies. DFA1979 fans can now only hope new material won’t take another 10 years.

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