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Saturday, November 29, 2014 
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Death From Above 1979
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You're A Woman, I'm A Machine
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Death From Above 1979 got the cards that so many others, no matter how many hands they play, are never dealt. Call it luck of the draw, bluffing abilities or a downright godsend, but some bands have it and some bands don't. There's no word for "it," and we don't know where "it" comes from. Whatever "it" is, it makes you listen, it makes you like it and it makes you want to listen to it again. Death From Above 1979 — lucky bastards — definitely got "it."

Maybe it's the know-how to blend seemingly disparate parts so well that they feel as if they were meant for each other from the start. Maybe it's the unique mix of Deep Purple-ish heavy metal bass riffs, post-punk howls and dance beats. Maybe it's sincerity, honesty, hard work and soul. Maybe it's the Toronto duo's ferocious capacity to make two instruments (drums and bass) sound like a thunderous 10. Maybe it's all of that combined. Maybe we'll never know. Maybe we should stop wondering and just be glad they got "it."

Opener "Turn It Out" begins with a squawking bass line that sounds like a guitar as it leads with suspense into spiraling out-of-control riffing and a pummeling attack of drums. Minimal, stop-start rhythms push and shove behind "Blood on Our Hands" as melodic strings jangle and crash and lead vocals whine and strain. "Black History Month" — the slowest, most groovin' song of the 11-track set — has a slick '80s dance flavor, strong melody, and a lot of passion. "Little Girl" takes its speedy, gritty riff directly from Deep Purple's "Highway Star" as it builds up to echoing urgent cries and spine-tingling slides. The creepy metal title track rushes and rumbles, fully equipped with enough energized speed and assaulting power to take anything on. "Pull Out" features snapping, tough-as-nails punk-rock playing, while closer "Sexy Results" swaggers with the sneering, dirty feeling of a night out too late, of doing things you know you shouldn't.

You're a Woman, I'm a Machine brings together the best parts of metal, hardcore punk-rock and dance-y post-punk for a sound that would be otherwise useless if it weren't for one thing: The boys got "it."


by Jenny Tatone




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