Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World


Death from Above 1979 released their first album in 10 years this Tuesday. 10 years is a long time to wait for a band who broke up, fled the scene, and left smoking tendrils of potential hanging in the air for anyone who loved loud scorched earth punk rock to stare at mournfully.

It’s exciting that they’re back, because they rocked. It’s disappointing to listen to their album though, and hear it as an EP that ate it’s feelings, and is now bloated with tracks that seem leaden with modern day cool-rock bullshit that have no place in a DFA 1979 song. When it’s good it’s good, when it sucks, you feel pained that this awesome band went and decided to wait 10 years to record another album. They got out of practice at what they do best, and it hurts me to see them meander around with five minute songs that have zero direction,  or hear them play a song like White is Red, which is complete dog-fuck that succeeds in making everyone unhappy. Everyone ever. Was it necessary to make everyone ever unhappy Death from Above?

I’m not mad I’m just disappointed.

What follows is a lengthy metaphor that describes what it’s like to listen to the album The Physical World by Death From Above 1979.

You have sex with someone who used to be really good in bed, and now they suck:

Things used to be so great. When you think back to those halcyon orgasms and you can confidently tell yourself that nobody on the planet was having better sex at that moment. A decade later, you run into them at a bar, have a couple drinks and decide to relive the old magic. The moves are the same once the pants are off, but it’s different, and all the differences suck. They’re trying new things that don’t work, they’re taking way too fucking long to get anywhere, and you find that you’re trying trying to get off by staring at the ceiling thinking about the sex you had 10 years ago.

That’s what it’s like to listen to The Physical World. Sure, it’s great that you’re getting laid, but deep down you know that it isn’t good, and while Trainwreck 1979 is a complete boot-stomping whirlwind of rad, at the same time you’re saying, “why the fuck does this song have a bridge?” and that completely takes you out of the moment and then you’ve lost your rhythm and everyone is thrown off till the next good moment.

Maybe it’ll grow on me. Maybe I’m that guy who’s pissed off when bands he likes grow and change with the times. But to paraphrase the great Henry Rollins, bands these days, “release records that grow and progress, which is code for saying that their albums start to suck.”

Death From Above grew up to be uncool. Buy it because it’s still fun to hangout with a band that plays loud, chugging, delicious rock music, but be prepared to be sad a lot, and stare mournfully out the window for the times of pink album covers and songs that sound like Dead Womb.


1. Cheap Talk

2. Right On! Frankenstein

3. Virgins

4. Always On

5. Crystal Ball

6. White is Red

7. Trainwreck 1979

8. Nothin’ Left

9. Government Trash

10. Gemini

11. The Physical World

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