9 Sep 2014

Death From Above 1979 / The Physical World (album review)

Interpol were on the front of NME this week, with their recent band reunion, and recent album all the rage. And it got me thinking just how often these band reunions are things you couldn't care less about. Interpol are alriiiight at best, but recently one reunion album has been so unspeakably exciting that I can't quite rationalise it even now, 8 days after it started streaming. Ravenous, raucous and hard-riffing, Death From Above 1979's first album in 10 years was released this Monday to an amazing reception; Canada's loudest two-piece are back and even more furious than they were in 2004.

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

The lead single has been all over the radio this past month, and it was scintillating. The fact that 6music played Trainwreck 1979 every programme was motivation enough to switch on the radio. Loud and brash, Trainwreck announced DFA immediately as the two-piece to follow for 2014. The danceable edge to the hard-riffing basslines of Jesse Keeler were really something to behold, and alas! Sebastian Grainger's OTT drumming was beyond the perfect fit to it. Trainwreck 1979 is undoubtedly the best single of 2014 so far.

But with the rest of the album, there isn't a drop in class at all. Opening gambit Cheap Talk is breath-taking, as Grainger kicks off what is probably 2014's best drumming performance on an album. DFA are back to exactly where they left off, as the hard-grooving closer to Side 1 White Is Red shows.

And it's the little things too that make it seem like this isn't a half-arsed money-grabbing comeback. The spine-curling feedback, and the determined breaths that kicks off the album version of Trainwreck 1979. The downbreaking false-ending of Virgins. The Vapour Trail-esque orchestrals at the end of the closer, The Physical World. The drum fills throughout Nothing Left. It all equates to a perfectly put together album of adrenaline fuelled post-punk furore.

From start to finish, there are no weak tracks. Maybe White is Red seems a bit off par because it's followed by Trainwreck 1979, but that's the only possible loophole in the perfect weave of the DFA web. This franitc, yet perfect return straight to form from Death From Above 1979 ensures that it's the best comeback album since... well... maybe it's not as good as m b v, but it's certainly one of the most hair-raising returns to music from any band, ever.

Out: NOW! (released 8th September)
Essential songs: All of it! Trainwreck 1979, The Physical World, Gemini, Virgins...

(written by calum cashin)