THE DEATH SET play the United Steelworkers Hall May 4. See listing. Rating: NNNN The Death Set's second LP comes cloaked in tragedy. Founding member Beau Velasco died of a drug overdose right before its conception. That's a heavy context for a band whose self-described "spaz punk" revels in sugar ….
New Musical Express (NME) - 80 Based on rating 4/5
Recently departed guitarist [b]Beau Velasco[/b] lives on here in snatches from Pro-Tools sessions. It’s his voice that opens the record and it is his spirit, rather than ‘miss you’ moody introspection, that rules the roost.This is the sort of chorus-heavy stoopid punk-rock record that makes you want to punch children in their silly faces from the sheer joy of being alive. An inspired choice of producer, [a]Spank Rock[/a]’s [b]XXXchange[/b] manages to tame their often rambling sets, and also whacks a fat bottom-end on things that makes us realise that, hey, maybe they’re a really good actual band as much as the world’s best prank band.Gavin Haynes[b]8/10[/b]Order a copy of The Death Set’s ‘Michel Poiccard’ .
Michel Poiccard is the Death Set’s second album as well as Belmondo’s character in the Godard movie Breathless. But it’s the first album released since the death of co-founder, Beau Velasco, in 2009. Though Velasco wasn’t touring with the band, he and the other founding member Johnny Siera had begun writing new material when Velasco suddenly died.
The Death Set’s moniker gained a grisly new significance in 2009, when founder member Beau Velasco suffered a fatal overdose. But rather than Michel Poiccard being a maudlin affair, the band choose instead to celebrate Velasco’s life in the best way they know: with a high-octane barrage of synthy, shouty trashiness. Seventeen tracks are crammed into 36 minutes, and to considerable effect.
Musically, the Death Set are a lot like cleaning your apartment by shoving everything into a closet and sweeping the dirt under a rug; no matter how clean things seem, there’s always a layer of dirt and grime there under the surface. This aesthetic tracks all throughout their third album, Michel Poiccard, where slick electronic elements play out over an undercurrent of gritty, driving punk, allowing for the music to feel both highly produced and completely spontaneous. All this contrast allows songs like “Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Slap” to really thrive, with the washed-out drums and vocal shouts balancing out the deep bass hits and synths and providing big returns in both freedom and fidelity.
"I wanna take this tape and blow up ya fuckin' stereo!" These are the first brash, goofily antagonistic words shouted on the Death Set's sophomore record, Michel Poiccard. It's a sort of perfect mantra for the Baltimore-by-way-of-Australia band, which makes an enthusiastic racket mixing ADD punk, leftover electroclash, and Licensed to Ill-era Beastie Boys. Sadly, the shouting voice belongs to founding member Beau Velasco, who died in 2009 of a drug overdose, only a year after the release of the band's debut, Worldwide.
There is no greater death nell for a band than being labeled “The Next Big Thing” or “Saviors of Rock Music,” and nothing that can send a shudder through the spines of avid music listeners faster. There is no publication guiltier of freely tossing about this title than English magazine NME. Their latest victim is Brooklyn-by-way-of-Australia “spaz-rockers” The Death Set.
Full-tilt, power-pop catharsis and ecstatic blaze-of-glory euphoria – catchier than H1N1. Chris Parkin 2011 Very rarely do things improve for a band once they’ve lost a member to the great beyond. They’ll either call it a day or attempt to carry on fighting the good fight, only their hearts won’t be in it and the resulting albums will sound like it.