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Album Review: Outrage! Is Now by Death From Above

Death From Above release their third album Outrage! Is Now on 8th September via Last Gang Records/eOne. The duo, Sebastien Grainger (vocals, drums) and Jesse F. Keeler (bass, keys, synths), take their disco punk to the next natural stage on Outrage! Is Now, it’s more intense, poppier and a touch weirder.

“By your third album, I feel like you should be trying different things, whether subconsciously or consciously,” exclaims Jesse. “You’ve got to stretch out the pizza dough of your idea and see how big you can make it creatively. After 17 years, things change. We both wanted to see how far we could take it as Death From Above. Once we started working on music, it seemed like this was going to be a record where the very idea of what our band is evolved.”

“The myth of what we should be didn’t exist anymore,” Sebastien agrees. “We didn’t say it out loud of course, but it was like, ‘Let’s flex our abilities as much as we can and make some weird shit.’ There was never a moment where we took a conventional path—either writing or recording. There was always some strange spice thrown in. It’s a grim record, but there’s a bounciness to it. We captured an element of fun.”

Firstly though, what’s the deal with the name? Yeah, it’s the same Death From Above 1979, they’ve just dropped the 1979. Changed to include the 1979 suffix in 2004 after a legal dispute, Grainger said in an interview that the band decided to not include the “1979” suffix on a tour promo for their tour with the Eagles of Death Metal in early 2016, “just to see what would happen” and the band received no legal issues because of it which led to them doing it again on their tour promo with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and once again there were no legal repercussions. On June 6, 2017, the band announced an official name change back to the original “Death from Above”. Although the band has said their social media handles will keep the “1979” suffix, all future music and shows from the duo will reportedly arrive under the new name.

What about the actual record though? Well, it’s OK. 2014’s The Physical World was exciting in part due to their 10 year studio absence, Outrage! Is Now feels a little bland in comparison. While it’s a little more frantic and chaotic that doesn’t translate into an exciting or more instant album. It’s pretty similar in feel and really just feels a little predicable at times. ‘Freeze Me’ and the title track are the best tracks, while ‘Statues’ displays everything that makes it a disappointing album – dull and forgettable. ‘All I C Is U & Me’ despite the horrible text speak title comes close to a great track.

A disappointing album, but not all bad. A pleasant albeit a tad unadventurous.

AD rating 6/10

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