Photo by Brennan Schnell, CC
Rarely do comeback records meet fans’ expectations, but The Physical World makes Canadian rockers Death From Above 1979 the exception.
After a six-year break, the Toronto-based band is stronger than ever. The album meets any and every expectation. The Physical World hits just as hard as its predecessor, 2004’s debut You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, but adds even more to the signature sound that DFA1979 is known for.
The album opens with a booming dance-punk track “Cheap Talk,” with a prominent drum beat that will have you hooked right from the beginning. On “Trainwreck 1979” and “Virgins,” the band proves they’re capable of writing exceptionally catchy hooks. Singer and drummer Sebastien Grainger delivers strong vocal performances throughout the album, most notably on “Government Trash” and “Gemini.”
A highlight of the album is definitely “Always On”—it’s nearly impossible to sit still when the blistering bass riff comes in for the chorus. “White is Red” is a change in sound for DFA1979. With its meandering, melancholy bass chords, the track is significantly slower than the rest of the album, and it’s a pleasant surprise.
The Physical World is a near-perfect sophomore effort from DFA1979. The duo has shown again that with the right touch, the only instruments you need to create hard-hitting rock music are bass guitar and drums. The last 10 years were well worth the wait.