Less is much, much more...
It sounds pretty dire when you look at the facts- two men, a drum kit, a bass guitar, a whole load of effects and an affinity for elephants. Maybe you're thinking "Hah! I always knew Meg wasn't really female" but you'd be wrong for even considering to compare The White Stripes to Death From Above 1979 because Death From Above are on a totally different level and far, far above the country bumpkin rock of The Stripes. This is the kind of onslaught of noise you would expect from a band of far larger numbers, but finally it seems that less really is more.
Although the piano intro of 'Turn It Out' turns the spiralling chaos of Jesse Keeler's bass playing into a nightmarish blend of high speed mania, it's 'Romantic Rights' that really opens this album. From its shuddering beginning bassline it kicks off with the kind of drumming that, if found in any other bands music, would signal the apocalypse. With Death From above though, it's the norm. This is a band unafraid to push boundaries and unafraid to launch into the dirtiest bassline heard in the UK for the second track of their album. The dirtiest bassline that is, until the final notes of 'Romantic Rights' give way to allow 'Going Steady' to pass through. At this point, Death From Above really are going steady- third track and no signs of allowing the listener a chance to catch their breath. Delivering a powerful blur of distorted bass like no one else at the moment, it's almost certain that Jesse is going to be hailed as one of the greatest bassists of his time for the kind of ingenious song writing that has gone into 'Go Home, Get Down'.
These songs are as sleazy as their names suggest. This is outright dirty rock that would appear to be the epitome of everything supposedly "wrong" with rock music. This is sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll neatly condensed into two men driven by an insatiable urge to be the very best and the very loudest around. 'Blood On Our Hands' is another standout track alongside the other single 'Romantic Rights'. Its catchy lyrics and jagged bassline (if it isn't too insulting to use that term to describe the music that Jesse creates) mean that it would be welcomed with open arms into parties and club nights alike.
Once into the second half of the album, some artists lose the drive that powered them through the first few tracks, but Death From Above don't have to worry. The frenzied speed built up is more than enough to propel them through another fifteen minutes of dirty songs that pack far more of a punch than their short playing times should allow. 'Black History Month' is what I guess you would call their slowest track. Slow by their standards, at least. What amazes me about Death From Above is the amount of power they seem to pump into every single track- there simply isn't a weak song to be heard on You're a Woman, I'm a Machine. Although they don't manage to reach the dizzy heights of talent displayed on the two singles to have been lifted from this album, Jesse and Sebastien's music is still miles beyond anything you'd expect two people to create.