Death From Above - Outrage! Is Now (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Death From Above

Outrage! Is Now (2017)


Death From Above may have lost the 1979 edge but they haven't lost the soul and funk in their music. The Toronto duo finesse their catchy sound (and make no mistake this record's filled with some of their biggest hooks to date) to show that with experience comes wisdom. Wisdom on how to take a raw, jagged indie sound of old and make it into mainstream candy that'll sate even the diehard fans who never wanted you to 'sell out'. Outrage! Is Now feels perfectly timed for the band's musical evolution and for our political existence at present.

The arrangements are much tighter, the lyrics feel fleshed out in a time where we can't help but be cynical of humans, and overall what you get from Sebastien Grainger and Jesse Keeler is a buzzy spin on the rock genre that feels like two dudes just chilling while the apocalypse hits and everyone's running around with their heads on fire. To me, The Physical World is the best representation of what this band has to offer but as you can tell from the record's title, we live in a state of perpetual frustration and uneasiness which this record smartly harps on. And what it does is arguably give you the best jumping-on point you could direct a newbie to. 

From guitar-aggressive songs like "Moonlight" and "Nomad" there's a dichotomy here on whether we should run or stay. Beautifully crafted melodies but with a sense of dread. Then comes the self-titled track which has a sludgy draw to it, and which represents the darker tones which DFA are waxing about. Some of these bitter pills feel like shots to their record label issues of old but nonetheless, you feel they're smarter with age. And bigger than those issues. 

In terms of production, things may be a bit over-polished because that rough sheen's what got me into them in the first place but DFA know what they're about and I can appreciate that. "Freeze Me" more or less sums up why they're called dance-punk and it's one of the best songs I've heard this year. I would have saved it for the back-end of the record, which really peters off, but nonetheless, it's got too strong a start to really fizzle out that dramatically. Well played from a bunch of 'old gents' in the game and hopefully, there more's to come soon.