Literally Aural Death From Above
Just at a time when it seems every band has in excess of five members, all doing a variety of things, from playing Moogs or twirling decks to simply dancing stupidly, here comes the lovely Death From Above - from Toronto, Canada, more West than Above, if you ask me - to save the day. Weighing in at a mere two members, they deftly provide your ears with a cacophony of rough-edged aggressive growling.
Okay, heavy advertising aside, here's the low-down on Death From Above's debut single, 'Blood On Our Hands'. Talk about extended violent imagery, eh? DFA claim that "no guitars are used in the making of these recordings", much in the same way that Rage Against the Machine denied any use of synths back when they slowly churned out albums. No doubt this means the bass must be heavily disguised and disfigured by effects modules, as anyone listening to this single would easily believe that the aggressive distortion was a guitar's handiwork.
The single track is filled with vocals that seriously stretch the limits of the singer's vocal capacity, as well as explosions of distorted bass coming from all directions. The song is decent enough, with the kind of angry lyrics that match Death From Above's playing style and timbre. After two minutes the song stops and is taken over by a minute of some kind of queer Elevator Musak. The melodic/harmonic part has to be played by an organ, or else the bass' sound has been warped about so much that it is almost as unrecognisable as Jennifer Anniston walking into a beauty salon and coming out looking like Robin Williams, or wait, no, Quasimodo.
The B-side to the single, 'Going Steady', is quite similar to the first track, but with drumming that doesn't necessarily match the bass part, even more aggression poured into an easily digestible soundwave form, and falsetto vocals in parts that sit in unison with the high up bassline. Commenting on the CD art, where the member's faces have had elephant trunks added, one half of the band, Jesse F Keeler, said: "We wanted our band to be like an Elephant in your living room," - they've certainly achieved this, but is it what we really needed? The bass-and-drums-only idea is nice, but the songs they have produced lack any merit at all, to be honest.