Music

Album review: Death From Above 1979’s ‘The Physical World’

Image

Three stars

Death From Above 1979 The Physical World

As good as their 2004 debut album might have been, Toronto duo Death From Above 1979’s legend was better. Unleash one indie-essential disc of punishing dance-noise, then disappear forever. Until Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler did what they vowed they wouldn’t, reuniting for some shows and, now, a second record 10 years after the first. Whatever the financial benefits of being back out there, it puts their mythology at risk, and the results are somewhat mixed.

On the plus side, The Physical World is no simple You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine replica, sounding less brutal and less synthy on the whole. Opening songs “Cheap Talk” and “Right on, Frankenstein!” flow from a place near Trail of Dead’s prog-punk pool, and “Virgins” and “Trainwreck 1979” deliver foot-stompier hooks than the band previously attempted. On the downside, the back half feels largely forgettable, which couldn’t be said of a minute of Machine, and borderline ballad “White Is Red” strays close to mainstream-rock radio territory, fighting words to hardcore fans.

Ultimately, The Physical World plays like the Back to the Future sequel we could largely live without, but hardly the Star Wars fiasco we wish had never happened.

Share
Photo of Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

Get more Spencer Patterson
  • In November the Office of the President of Mongolia bestowed The Hu with the Order of Genghis Khan, reserved for those who study, preserve and ...

  • “I like that the personality and vibe of each day changes the show. Maybe a bad buffet in Vegas will affect the way I play ...

  • The band could have easily split some of the songs into an encore, but staying true to its reputation as one of metal’s most unrelenting ...

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story