Wednesday 14 January 2015


GenresPunk / Post-Punk / Rock / Indie Rock / Post-Hardcore / Alternative / Electronic / Disco / Electro
Related artistsSebastien Grainger & The Mountains, MSTRKRFT, Bad Tits / Deserts, Femme Fatale and Black Cat No. 13, .
CountryToronto, Ontario CANADA
Years Active2001-2006 / 2011-present
Song: "Blood on our Hands"
Album: "You're a Woman, I'm a Machine"
Year: 2004
Label(s): Last Gang Records / Warner Bros. Records / Caroline Records / Fiction Records / Victor Entertainment Inc. / 679 Recordings / Shiny / Vice Records / Noiselab / Ache
This post's artist is from the January 2014 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the January Mix#12 right here or get the new February 2015 Mix#1 here.
For fans ofPanthers, Big Dick, Hot Hot HeatSebastien Grainger & The Mountains, Dance Disaster Movement, The Vogue, Q And Not U, The Blood Brothers, Die Princess Die, Rye Coalition and Life In Vacuum.

*note: the new album 'The Physical World' should have made the OMSB best of 2014 but I didn't hear it until 2015 - oops

Are you looking for one of the most interesting and enjoyable bass players of all time? Do you like your drummers who are capable of exceptional sassy/melodic vocals? The Canadian duo DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 just dropped a new album after a decade-long break. If you haven't dabbled in the death, you need to get on that as well as the band's earlier work. They play melodic Panthers vocals (who also tackles drum duties, no less) meet some of the best bass riffs ever written, and that's why they have no guitars. Let's go through by each album.

'Heads Up'
"Dead Womb" defines the band's signature sound early on. These tracks carry an acidic element when compared to DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979's later material, as melody, especially in the vocal department, became a focal point of the band. When Sebastien lets all out and screams he sends chill up my spine. I do love my screaming. "If We Don't Make It We'll Fake It". Even with the more abrasive stuff, I've got to concede that "Losing Friends" is the standout, with the catchy-ass chorus, "If I lose my friends I hope I know. I hope that someone tells me."

'Romantic Rights'
"We Don't Sleep at Night" is an all-around distortion fest, including the vocals. The "Romantic Rights (demo)" is raw and one of the band's best songs. The "Pull Out (demo)" is sassier than any other song the band has released, and again features some distorted singing as well as screaming, mixed pretty high.

'Your're A Woman, I'm a Machine'
This LP is the band's crowning achievement, and that includes the new album 'Physical World', which actually comes pretty close. "Turn it Out" is an amazing opener that gives off the vibe of ultra-danceable post-punk driven by venomous vocals and bombastic bass lines. "Romantic Rights" was one of the band's biggest hits and begins with a really cool bass palm/sliding thing that sounds like a wire bridge about to snap. "Blood on our Hands" is a fantastic song that boasts one of the best bass riffs that I've ever heard, climbing up and down the fret-board with some catchy-ass shit. "Cold War" is a post-punk blast of ass-shaking proportions, clocking in at two and a half minutes this should have you wanting to twist one foot on the ground and raise your opposing finger to the sky whilst swaying that rump. Rump? Yes, rump. "Black History Month" is my favourite DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 song as, quite obviously at this point, it contains fantastic bass work that will get stuck in your head for days, with some very interesting and repetitive lyrics - the most accessible song the band had before releasing...

new LP 'The Physical World'
"Cheap Talk" is a low-end bass-heavy merry-go-round of swirling vocals and sassy indie rock that borders on post-punk and post-hardcore.

"Right On, Frankenstein!" is the first of a few tracks that lend to DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979's back catalogue. Very punky with great pop sensibilities, another standout.

"Virgins" sounds like a massive stadium-rock jam with that sweet, sweet bass riffing.

"Always On" has some of the record's strongest singing, with a few layers of thickness lacquered onto those soaring vocal chords. This track also boasts bass that pushes to the point of being taken in as a guitar.

"Crystal Ball" has a really catchy instrumental intro that somehow has additional room to become amazing at the chorus and reminds of a more down to earth "Laser Life" by The Blood Brothers. Definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album and certainly the most danceable, in my book.

"White is Red" sounds like U2 for the 50 seconds and then mixes said band with band doing said band...wait, that's confusing - it sounds like U2 mixed with DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979, as opposed to the beginning that just sounds like U2. Now that that is all out of the way, this song is okay. I assume it'll be the second single.

I've heard "Trainwreck" so many fucking times on the ultra-shitty 102.1 The Edge radio station in Toronto that I'm not even going to talk about. All this amazing music in the world and they play 8 fucking songs. I need to overthrow that goddamn piece of shit "radio station".

"Nothing Left" is meh. It's not bad I just don't really know what to say about it and the others songs have more personality.

"Government Trash" is a peculiar song that reminds me of Rusty but I don't really dig it all that much. The latter half certainly gets more aggressive, but it still doesn't really get me going.

"Gemini" is probably the most throwback track on here, as the intro sounds like it was culled from the 'Heads Up' album. The jarring and unconventional rhythms are pretty darn interesting. Even with all the cacophony of noise, the song still remains grounded and even electronic/danceable.

"The Physical World" is very electronic in a Daft Punk/Tron kinda way. At first I was weirded out but I ended up really enjoying this track. When DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 do something different they generally do it really fucking well.


Lastly, back in 2005 they released a remix/b-side as well as live album which contains:
'Romance Blood Romance' has "Black History Month (Girl On Girl Featuring Final Fantasy Revision)" which is a disco version of the song which, despite disliking disco, I adore.
'Itunes live' is actually really good, as most live cuts don't hold a candle to the original versions. This is not the case here with the live cut of "Black History Month" and "Little Girl" are excellent, displaying some additional bass solos scattered throughout the songs.

So there you have it, a lot of song talk. This one of the more well known bands that I have reviewed but, well...there it is, not many mainstream bands are even worth you giving the time of day to. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 is definitely an exception to this rule that comes true all too often in the corporate music world. Good work, fellas!



2002 - Heads Up cd/12"EP

2004 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine cd/12"LP
2004 - Romantic Rights cd/12"EP

2005 - Romance Bloody Romance cdLP (comp of remixes and such)
2005 - Live Session (Itunes Exclusive) digitalEP

2014 - The Physical World cd/12"LP (stream 11 songs on youtube here)


(2004) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "Blood on our Hands" (from 'You're A Woman, I'm a Machine') official music video

(2004) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "Black History Month" (from 'You're A Woman, I'm a Machine') official music video

(2002) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "Losing Friends" (from 'Heads Up')

(2002) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "Dead Womb" (from 'Heads Up')

(2004) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "We Don't Sleep at Night" (from 'Romantic Rights')

(2005) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "Black History Month (Girl On Girl Featuring Final Fantasy Revision)" (from 'Romance Bloody Romance')

(2014) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "Crystal Ball" (from 'The Physical World')
(2014) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - "The Physical World" (from 'The Physical World')


DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 additional links

Stream the new album 'The Physical World' on youtube here.


1 comment:

  1. One thing I never understand is why people rave about Blood on our Hands. Out of their whole original catalog, thats the last song I would listen to... yes, even Sexy Results is preferable.
    Black History month also took a long time to warm up to.

    But then again, Anything on the Heads Up EP as well as We Don't Sleep at Night is my cup of tea