DFL - YRUDFL [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


YRUDFL [EP] (2021)


YRUDFL, DFL’s first proper release in 24 years, repeatedly asks a cosmic question through its lightning fast seven song width. On second track “No Exit,” lead singer Tom Davis barks out “Will I live another day?!” while guitarist Monty Messex kicks old school West coast riffs that would do justice on any Dangerhouse record. This question arises in different forms throughout the record.

The pair are back together after a number of decades and frankly, it feels like it was only a minute since 1997’s Grateful… Except, now they are charged with a few years behind their belt. But, in true OFF! Style, the band is as fired up, or perhaps more fired up, than during their original run. A lot fo earlier DFL stuff was cloaked in a fun-for-the-sake-of-fun whimsy. That’s here, too, in a lessened amount, and the band has amped up their angst and spastic rage. “Panic attack” is about freaking out at the weight of the world and it feels like the band is ready to explode. Messex’s riff’s are manic and loose while Tom is as zagged out and sounds like he might stab you at any minute. It’s a wonderful thing when punk veterans return after years away and are even more heated up then before.

The band deals with a certain economy here. Instead of forcing an LP for the sake of an LP, the band whittles off all the chaff and releases an EP where every track is meant to count- and they do. “Shut it Down” has a fantastic hyper-fast opening only for a OC style breakdown on the second half. Newish member Adam G and Edgar bring a rhytm section that is equally old school and fresh, supporting the release’s raw power. “Misunderstood” has the classic Tom-Monty back and forth. Tom (howling): “I’m misunderstood! / Monty (robotically): “Misunderstood…”

It’s telling that the EP does end with “Misunderstood.” As they asked on the title track, “YRUDFL”? You can bend that anyway you like, but I like to take it as being out of sync with the world, and perhaps happy to be so. But, as with the closing track, they don’t answer why they are out of sync with the world, just that, no matter how they try, they’ll never truly fit into place. Well, you don’t make a comeback record this white hot by being comfortable.