Dance-punk is a sound that boomed what seems like forever ago, when kids were still in DIY clubs and not dancing to the big hits on Tik Tok, but more than just the spirit lives on. Death From Above 1979 were an icon in the movement when it first appeared, disappearing then reappearing, and keep smashing the walls on their latest, Is 4 Lovers.
[note: after originally going by ‘Death From Above’, then adding their birth year due to a dispute with DFA Records, then resolving that dispute in the reunion and dropping ‘1979’, apparently the year has been added back again to their name, which could annoy your editor, if he hadn’t also been born that year…]
To be fair, Lovers is very much a DFA1979 record, not really reinventing or evolving their sound, but nowadays far fewer artists are doing it – and it still rocks. Single “One + One” (QRO review) probably does it best, crashing tech-rock fuzz and sweaty spirit, though one also has to love the kiss-off to “N.Y.C. Power Elite Part I”. There are some sadder and slower moments, such as “Love Letter” and closer “No War”, plus the unusual mix of stark piano and fuzz-attack “Mean Streets”.
It’s not going to be 2004 anymore than it’s going to be 1979 again, but Death From Above 1979 still capture that mix of head-banging punk and ass-shaking dance, because DFA1979 Is 4 Lovers.