December 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World

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Death From Above 1979
The Physical World
Last Gang Records/Warner Bros.
Street: 09.09
Death From Above 1979 = Pink Mountaintops + QOTSA – Frank Black

After nearly a decade apart, Jesse Keeler and Sebastien Grainger are back together recording and performing as Death From Above 1979. “Cheap Talk” leads off the album, and it reveals the theme of the disc: the divergence between live and machine music, written and recorded, the created and the manufactured. You can’t get back what’s lost, no matter how hard you try. In “Always On,” which talks about living in the “always on” Internet age, Grainger sings “If we brought Kurt back to life/there’s no way he would survive.” This is a highly danceable dystopia—no Nirvana indeed. Even though they miraculously picked up where they left off, living in The Physical World is, among other things, sobering. As they say in “Right On, Frankenstein!,” “It’s the same old song, just a different tune.” They are even jaded about their own creativity, though they exuberantly rock hard as they express it. This musical monster they’ve created is no new Cobain, but it’s one mean mutha. –Stakerized!

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