Album Review: Is 4 Lovers by Death from Above 1979
Very Good, Based on 4 Critics
Exclaim - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Since forming Death from Above 1979 in 2001, Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger have taken their melodic post-hardcore and dance-punk aesthetic and honed a sound recognizable as entirely their own. The band's evolution in all respects has had its share of obstructions. After their now-iconic first releases -- 2002's EP Heads Up and their 2004 LP You're a Woman, I'm a Machine -- the duo split in 2006, with creative and musical differences as partial reasoning.
The noisiest boys in dance-punk return to the dancefloor on a groovy fourth record A devastating opening squall of feedback? Check. Strange semi-song outros to bridge each track? Check. Chuck in a slow number to show off your sensitive side and end things on a proggy, drawn out closer and, baby, you've got a Death From Above 1979 album cooking. It should come as no surprise that at this point, 20 years and 4 LPs deep into their career, DFA 1979 know how to put a record together.
Dance-punk should have been long dead by now, but it keeps refusing to perish. Who’d have thought that right now, in 2021, that one of the longest-lived, most-enjoyed rock bands of the early 2000s vintage, Death From Above 1979, would return with a new album? The fact that this new record, Is 4 Lovers, is their fourth album in 20 years is surprising enough, but when you factor in the band's rocky history and tendency to take long gaps between album releases, it’s even more of a big deal for anyone out there who’ve been waiting with bated breath. The good news is that the DFA 1979 formula - loud, aggressive waves of guitar feedback laid in sheets over an almost-progressive hardcore base – is here, and is still so unique and distinctive that at first listen they don’t appear to have lost a step.
Your romantic rights are all that you got.
You know, ever since Death From Above 1979 reformed back in 2011, I have been waiting for them to crash and burn spectacularly. I haven't done this sat in a secret underground missile silo, stroking a white cat while I maliciously cackle at the prospect. No, the reason why I envisage such an unfortunate scenario is because the Toronto-based duo have it all stacked against them.