Saturday, August 20, 2011
A Record a Week: Death From Above (1979) - Heads Up!
TO MUCH LOVE
MY LOVE IS SHARED
IF WE DON'T MAKE IT WE'LL FAKE IT
I put the 1979 in brackets because the original release of this album was prior to the cease and desist letter that forced them to add drummer Sebastien Grainger's birth year.
I remember the time this album came to be, because the band I was in at the time was playing a boatload of shows with their other band. I was at the house where they lived and they invited me into the basement to hear a new project they were working on. A month or so later, I booked their first Canadian show at a small bar called the OPM Den. There were a grand total of about 35, maybe 40 people there.
This is a fast-paced album, exploring many facets of the loud dance-punk/indie sound. It comes in at a short 14 or so minutes, leaving you wanting more. This was released during an overlap while the duo were also performing in the live version of Jesse's solo noise-dance outfit Femme Fatale.
The beauty of this album lies in the fact that it sounds familiar to other music you like, but contains enough different elements that it also sounds completely unique. In my opinion, this was their best recorded album. The music they wrote was always good, but the production of this album really harnessed the energy of their live show, which was probably their most attractive element. The vocals have a slight distortion and a lot of emotion to them. The production on the later albums makes the music more commercially viable, while somewhat taking away from the energy.
The highlight for me (also awesome at their live shows) is 'Do It! (live)' If you ever have the pleasure of seeing it live, you will see Jesse finger-tapping the bass part with his left hand while he uses his right to play the vocal line on his vocorder. The album was re-issued on CD, but if you are a savvy searcher, you may still be able to find one of the two presses of the LP.