Death From Above 1979
You're a Woman, I'm a Machine


3.5
great

Review

by Thomas Bambaataa Ghidrah Towers USER (67 Reviews)
May 23rd, 2005 | 211 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Released 2004 (Last Gang Records)

Chances are, if you don't live in Canada you haven't heard of this band. But in Canada Death From Above 1979 (formerly without the 1979) have gotten a lot of attention with their first LP. They debuted in 2002 with their EP Heads Up. They are expected to release a follow-up of You're a Woman, I'm a Machine by the end of 2005 as well as different versions of this album.

They are a duo, which greatly affects the band's sound. But unlike most duos, guitar and drums, two DJs, etc., the band's main arsenal is bass and drums. While most heavy bands' sound is lifted by guitars, DBA has a dense sound that doesn't really change throughout the songs. The lyrics are not 'punk' at all, and most songs have a dance/electronica sound. Jesse F. Keeler's bass takes the role of lead instrument, the basslines having the most input and influence on the songs, heavily distorted all the way. On songs like Cold War and Pull Out the bass being more like a lead guitar is very noticeable. Sebastien Grainger's whiny yet grounded vocals (he's also the drummer) go great with the buzzed bass guitar. Probably my favourite thing about You're a Woman, I'm a Machine are the inventive and rough basslines.

The dance/electronic sound that I mentioned before are on songs like Romantic Rights and Black History Month. Romantic Rights is one of the most upbeat, and non-'punk' songs on the album, the dry dancebeat is riddled with synthesizers (courtesy of Jesse F. Keeler) making it sound like a frantic electronic song. Live of course this song has no synth, the duo being very limited on stage, but they still provide an amazing show. Death from Above 1979 were smart, to not have had synth on all the songs, giving the listener more variety in the songs. Black History Month (they could've easily just said February don't ya think?) is my favourite song on YAW,IAM. DBA pull off electro-punk (what my friends and I have deemed them) type songs very well, without any pomp or tackiness.

Not liking the sound of electro-punk? Well it's more on the punk side anyway, but the album is roughly split between dance-punk hybrids and straight forward bass rockers. Little Girl, Turn it Out and Cold War are all examples of these straight forward songs. They have similar basslines, tempos, and feature Grainger's more aggressive vocals, not really stand-outs or highlights of the album, ok songs, but lacking in variety. The closer Sexy Results stand-outs the most on the album, with bongos, a steady yet varying bassline and a synth outro. The quirky techno noises and tremolo picked bass notes on the chorus provide a drastic change in pace from the verse.

I'm not a big fan of punk, but this album really caught my attention. Whether you like it I guess also depends how much you can tolerate heavy fast music, while the album has its slow breaks, the heavier songs bore me quicker than the rest. But the album's overall style really got me back into punkier sounding music, perhaps I was tired of listening to three chords over and over again for three minutes. If you are too, and like punk, I recommend this album to you. But at the same time, You're a Woman, I'm a Machine is hard to sit through entirely, and is more enjoyable through individual songs. That's saying a lot about a 35 minute album. The album is the boldest statement Canadian indie music has made in a while, as bold as any punk band, perhaps too bold. Still, it's catchy as hell.

You're a Woman, I'm a Machine-------> 3.5 stars

Recommended Tracks:
Romantic Rights
Black History Month
Sexy Results



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Comments:Add a Comment 
succubus
May 23rd 2005


4 Comments


after reading your review i downloaded one or two songs. what ive heard so far i like especially 'blood on our hands'.
will definitely be getting a lend of this album from my friend. i remember him mentioning them before but i never listened to them til now.
good review.


cordell_biggums
May 23rd 2005


2 Comments


death from above are not punk.

if you can go see them live, awesome show. thier pretty big here in america too, not just canada.

pulseczar
May 23rd 2005


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I tried to explain that in my review, it is fast punk-sounding, but not actually punk. and i have seen them live.This Message Edited On 05.23.05

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 23rd 2005


2125 Comments


Maybe you should read that last sentence in your review then :p

cordell_biggums
May 23rd 2005


2 Comments


also, jesse doesnt really like putting out full length albums, so you're a woman, i'm a machine was a task. you can feel the split of black history month and little girl. it would make sense on vinyl, the split.

pulseczar
May 23rd 2005


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

d'oh! yeah breadman, i sorta contradict myself a bit here,

guitar0323
May 23rd 2005


1 Comments


I like deathfromabove. they played in calgary and it was one of the most energetic shows i've been too.

morrissey
Moderator
May 24th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Very nice review, good album as well. I agree with your rating, and can't wait to hear some more material.

subwaytovenus
May 24th 2005


9 Comments


ive heard of them too and im from singapore! well, at least i didnt hear about them from radio! they sound more like dancey stuff man. i liked cold war a lot.

captain chris
May 25th 2005


73 Comments


i am from sh*ty old England and i have heard of them we r only across the pond, we get all the stuff u do..... pretty much anyway.


smooches xxxThis Message Edited On 05.25.05

guitarded_chuck
May 27th 2005


3270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

death from above are not punk.

So what? Genres don't matter, get over it.

I got a chance to see DFA'79 live a few weeks ago, and they were awesome. I can't get enough of them. A dance rock band with only a synthesized bass and a singing drummer? How cool is that?

Check out Turn It Out and Black History Month, my personal favorites.

cliffdogg
May 27th 2005


4 Comments


I saw these guys live in Ottawa almost a year and a half ago. A few months later, I heard Romantic Rights and couldn't believe it was the same band!

Sebastien describes their live sound as "ear melting" and it's very true- except on record. I found they sounded totally different live.

But yeah, amazing band. They're one of my faves right now. I would've given the album 4 stars, best tracks being Blood on Our Hands and Little Girl

pulseczar
May 29th 2005


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[quote="guitarded_chuck"]So what? Genres don't matter, get over it.[/quote]

exactly, punk was the closest thing you can describe them, especially if you see them live. "dance" or "electronica" wouldn't do them justice

succubus
May 30th 2005


4 Comments


well from all your comment i can't wait to see them playing in July at oxegen, Ireland. Didn' think they'd play here, went to the website and couldnt believe my eyes when i saw that!
Another thing to look forward to that weekend!


masada
June 11th 2005


2733 Comments


I saw them onh Conan 'O Brian, and I was really quite intrigued by them. I'll probably check this out, sometime.

whitetrashcoldwar
June 14th 2005


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just think the way the bassist plays is absolutely amazing. I've never heard a bass sound like that before...mayb because im mostly into classic rock..but that's really cool. Nice review..and id love to see these guys live.

Iai
Emeritus
June 14th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I listened to this today at work. I was pretty impressed. Good stuff.

basswaaah
August 2nd 2005


9 Comments


Im English and I'm obsessed with DFA. Love this album so much

basswaaah
August 2nd 2005


9 Comments


And the best tracks have to be pull out and cold war. Love em

pulseczar
August 4th 2005


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I feel sorta stupid thinking that dfa1979 were unheard of outside of Canada.This Message Edited On 10.13.05



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