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Album Review

by Die! Die! Die!

Records Etcetera

Review Date
25th July 2012
Reviewed by
Ricardo Kerr

After almost of a decade of relentless touring and regularly releases, Die! Die! Die! sit deservedly at the head of our alternative music table. Fourth album Harmony finds the band as relentless as ever, refining and reinforcing their blend of fractured pop ditties, visceral indie, spun-out shoegaze, and post-modern punkisms.

The near musical veterans understand the importance of making a powerful first impression and do so in spades here. 'Oblivious: Oblivion' opens the album with a cascade of furious guitar barbs. The intensity gets ratcheted up a further notch on the title track that follows with its kaleidoscopic coda that billows out threateningly in every dimension. Die! Die! Die! know how to create an aural claustrophobia with ease. Layers of interwoven instruments thicken the air and draw it in around your ears like a hood. 'No One Owns A View' sounds like it has a point (something to do with property and landlord-ship) but good luck slowing down long enough to catch all of it. If you were seeking a small amount of respite hang on for the album's final track 'Get Back' as it swims on a rubbery wave of feedback and piercing, lop-sided drum mantras.

The band have an amazing knack for stretching their reach far with an unchanging set of influences and elements. The percussion is always an urgent and driving force, the guitars are always whippet quick, and singer Andrew Wilson always turns it on vocally – either hot or cold. While the bass might be a hammered into a throbbing pulse, and the guitars mercilessly contorted they are still the same fundamental building blocks as on the brisk standout 'Erase Waves'. It is the kind of track that can use a raspy sneer to effortlessly bridge the gap between punk rock's notorious forebears and this kiwi trio. Barely two minutes later you are dropped from that peak into a swamp of corroded grunge riffing at the intro of 'Trinity'.

These sharp about-turns make Harmony a ball-busting thrill ride of an album, never standing still for long enough to be put neatly into any box.  Consistent and persistent, Harmony is a welcome addition to Die! Die! Die!'s solid body of work and will no doubt kill live.


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