Death From Above 1979

FILE UNDER: Rock, Two Instruments Turned Into 10

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

Call it luck of the draw or a downright godsend, but some bands have it and some bands don't. And Death From Above 1979 (DFA)–a drum-and-bass pair forced to slap on the 1979 ending to avoid being confused with Brooklyn's hip DFA production team–have it, blending shouldn't-fit-together parts so well they make everything seem meant to happen. Potent opener “Turn It Out” begins with a squawking bass line, leading with suspense into vicious drums. Minimal, stop-start rhythms push and shove “Blood On Our Hands”; the slick '80s dance flavor of “Black History Month” shimmies and coos; and “Little Girl” takes its speedy, rumbling riff directly from Deep Purple's “Highway Star” as it builds up to urgent cries and spine-tingling pick slides. The metal title track has enough overbearing power to take anything on, “Pull Out” rides on tough-as-nails punk rock playing to die for, and closer “Sexy Results” swaggers with the sneering, dirty feel of a night out too late, doing things you know you shouldn't. So maybe it's the unique mix of Deep Purple heavy-metal riffs, post-punk howls and dance beats, or maybe it's the Toronto duo's ferocious capacity to make two instruments sound like 10. Maybe it's all of them combined. Whatever it is, on their full-length debut, they prove they've got it.

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