Context – chopping veggies, drinking smoothies
This album is all over the place, and I have no idea how to feel about it. It’s almost like Death From Above 1979 forgot what makes them such a force in the lexicon of musical talent. Or at least what made You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine so unique. I would define DFA as a band with force and grit.
The album opens with the force, “Nomad” having the drive that I remember enjoying, but the tone is off, which leaves the band feeling a lot more like Queens of the Stone Age. Which isn’t necessarily the worst comparison you can make about a band, but we already have QotSA doing their thing. I guess if DFA was going to soften around the edges, this makes sense as a direction for them to go. I don’t hate it, but I’m confused.
As the album approaches the middle of it’s track listing, songs like “Never Swim Alone”, “Moonlight”, and “Outrage! Is Now” recapture the tone, but lose the drive, which leaves the band feeling more like a Muse knock-off than anything. Which again, isn’t the worst place this band could land, but now I’m more confused because I thought we were heading in a different direction.
Outrage! Is Now sees DFA returning to form for the back tracks of the album, with “All I C Is U & Me”, “NVR 4EVR”, and “Holy Books” feeling like they finally found their footing. Or at least finally sound like themselves again. Which is refreshing, but feels like a little too late as I had already written them off twice now as going in different directions with the album.
So I don’t know what to make of this. I’m sure I would enjoy a lot of these songs as a stand-alone thing if I could divorce my memories and excitement about their debut album from what I’m listening to, but as a whole this feels disjointed and confused. Like we have to listen to DFA try a few things out before they settle on a sound that works for them.
At least they got there in the end, I guess.