Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World
Trainwreck 1979, the lead single that ended Death From Above’s ten year recording hiatus last month, was almost custom built to engineer well-worn review phrases such as ‘immediately feels as if no time has passed.’
That’s by no means a slight on the Toronto-raised duo, more an acknowledgment that they deal with some basic, primal, frills-free noise architecture. Like an accomplished chef given eggs, milk and flour, DFA can effortlessly take their rudimentary ingredients and cook up a storm of pancakes, Yorkshire puddings and ear-bleeding, punk-rock riffage you can shake your booty to.
However, that analogy isn’t as accurate as it is terrible; there’s some progression and refinement at work throughout The Physical World for sure. Tone-changing middle-eights and rousing codas on the likes of Trainwreck, and Right On, Frankenstein add some variety while the title track finale is practically a prog freakout in comparison to all before it.
And while production is as course as you’d hope and expect, both Jesse Keeler and Sebastien Grainger seem equally happy stripping back to their more poppy undercoat with centrepiece duo Crystal Ball and White Is Red. The Physical World is a secondary salvo that hits its mark with aplomb – let’s hope Death From Above’s next shot isn’t so long in loading up.