Death From Above
Outrage! Is Now


3.5
great

Review

by Simon Killip CONTRIBUTOR (140 Reviews)
September 9th, 2017 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm out of rage, maybe it's my age?

As cynical as it sounds, some things should be a distant memory. In the case of Death From Above 1979’s revival, I quite often muse over whether their coming back was a good thing or not, given what they’d left behind. A band that had a scintillating beginning, with their exceptional post-punk debut album, before burning out and having the wheels fall off the wagon only a few years later; caused by the band’s uncomfortably sour relationship. In 2005, just a year after their first album, they called it a day and vowed never to return. This was down to their anaemic friendship, but also because Jesse and Sabastian felt the band had ran its course; 1 LP and several fantastic EPs, and then it was over. During the course of their 9-year break-up DFA 1979’s fanbase was still growing, with a perpetual demand for the duo to return - and with little success. I was definitely one of those people, and who could blame me? The uncompromising power and energy that came from this two-piece was a crazy sight to behold. And with their album, You’re A Women, I’m A Machine, they proved they were lightyears ahead of the game. They pulled the plug at a time where many believed they had so much more to offer; the years moved on, while the music world continued to evolve.

Nearly dormant for a decade, the band made a surprising return in 2014, but was met with a pickling turn of events; another band – a two-piece – was taking up radio-play with their well-received, smash debut. Now, on a surface level, it would be ignorant of me to compare the two bands just because they consist of bass and drums and play rock music, but the fact remains, when DFA 1979 returned to the fold with their sophomore album, it had glaring similarities to that of Royal Blood’s effort. Obviously, this was just a coincidence, but it showcased a turning point for the band, one which brought a realisation on how much had changed in their slumber: they were no longer the innovative spearheads of a movement anymore. That’s not to take anything away from their second offering, The Physical World contained a lot of really stellar moments, and delivered a nice, well-rounded maturity on their sound; the problem was, it was 9 years too late.

So, here we are in 2017, and it seems Royal Blood and DFA 1979 are dropping releases in the same year (again). The band should be fully accustomed to what Royal Blood are offering at this point, and one would hope Sabastian and Jesse are set to bring a serious shake up in their sound, to prevent further comparisons, and prove their genius again. However, the lead up to Outrage! Is Now, I can’t say I was feeling the need to jump into this thing with open arms; their singles for this album were met with a lukewarm reception by me – a sound sorely lacking in their signature bite: even softer; even more melodic; and closing any distinction between what these guys are creating and what Royal Blood are. Even listening to Outrage! Is Now, the initial worries still resonate prominently throughout: Sebastian’s vocal work is eerily similar to Mike’s at points, while their newer, slower, fuzzy tempo-d grooves run in-between the lines of sounding like Royal Blood meets Black Sabbath.

In all honesty, Outrage! Is Now runs low on its own character, so the obvious question would be: “Is the album horrible to listen to?” And thankfully, I can say no, it’s actually a surprisingly fun album to listen to. The true saving grace of Outrage! Is Now is found in the same redeeming qualities I got from their second album: experimentation. Though this record reserves these moments to a certain point in a song, and are largely bite-sized samples than fully fleshed-out pieces of a track, they are brilliant moments: the Floyd-y tinge in the album closer “Holy Books”, the avant-garde outro of “NVR 4EVR”, and the haunting electronics nestled under “Statues” add spice and interest; while a couple of tracks get a bigger injection of excitement: “Outrage! Is Now” and “Moonlight” contain standout moments that offer different sounds to what you’d expect from these guys, and help fight full-on fatigue; “Moonlight” in particular is probably the standout song on the whole album, simply for its super bleak atmosphere and brutal attacks from the bass and drums, but the self-titled track has such a distinct, thumping and sinister verse, it instantly piqued my interest. Other highlights come from the electronic contributions which heighten sections and brighten up any of the derivative grooves or riffs which the album frequently offers.

Overall, I have to say, this isn’t the disaster I was expecting. DFA 1979 have succeeded in maintaining the same level of quality as their sophomore release. It’s their worst LP to-date, sure, but it doesn’t say much, as I still thoroughly enjoyed a lot of what this had to offer. As it stands, it’s an album that sits firmly in the middle of the crowd than one at the front of it, which is sad to say, given the innovation they once possessed the first time around. But when the album is this fun, who cares?

Great.

EDITIONS: DIGITAL//V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶//C̶D̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: N/A



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Daniel Dias CONTRIBUTOR (2)
As great as their intentions may be, there's no dodging the feeling that Death From Above sound like...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


13289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A surprisingly great album from these guys.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


11517 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is pretty much like everything else i've heard from them - decent for the occasional listen, but nothing i get too hyped up over.



Nice review Gonzo, noticed a couple grammar things but i could point them out later to you if you'd like :D

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


13289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aye, send em my way, dan.

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
September 9th 2017


1366 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Review feels rushed, with a fair amount of awkward phrasing. I'd recommmend going it a once over.



Never Swim Alone is dreadful but hopefully the rest of the album isn't.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


13289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've had a shuffle round. Better?

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
September 9th 2017


1366 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Significantly.



First listen through, it's a bit better than I expected.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


11517 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Giving it a second listen atm, guess i kind of like how the first half is more varied than most of their debut, but damn this band could not write a decent lyric if their lives depended on that.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


13289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I honestly had no expectation for this. Only found out it was out on Thursday lol

MeatSalad
September 9th 2017


17115 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Solid review. a couple good tunes and a few good moments, but it's pretty clear this band has little reason to exist at this point

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


13289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers salad. And agreed, they've fallen hard. Still enjoyed this and the last one though, despite all that.

bloc
September 9th 2017


42996 Comments


Damn with the 1979 dropped I totally just scrolled by this album without a second thought.

Also ugh am I the only one who cringes at exclamation marks in song and album titles?

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


4432 Comments


band are made for the 3-3.5 quality bracket.. lovely review as per usual, Gonzo..

Digging: Rip Rig Panic - God

Ebola
September 10th 2017


2811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Never Swim Alone rules

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2017


11517 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's a nice one instrumentally, but damn those lyrics are so horrible.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2017


13289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I refuse to lose the 1979 tag, blob. They're idiots for dropping it imo.



Cheers, Butcher.

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2017


10691 Comments


Good review man, I can tell this won't be for me though, I appreciate the little backstory here to give this some context as someone totally unfamiliar with this band. Nicely done (:

Digging: Saltvind - Saltvind

dbizzles
September 11th 2017


9804 Comments


I heard about half of this and think I'll enjoy it when I get time to jam again. Only real bad thing that stood out was the chorus for Caught Up.

Digging: Botanist - Collective: The Shape of He to Come

PistolPete
September 11th 2017


4421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Moonlight is like if Muse wrote a noise rock song. And it's GLORIOUS m/

Digging: Irreversible - Sins

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2017


13289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I get huge Bellamy vibes from Moonlight.

McMegaMountain
September 11th 2017


259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I spun this a few times over the weekend, and it's grown on me. It's actually better (imo) than the Physical World, which I also liked.



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