Die! Die! Die!: Harmony
I had never heard of Die! Die! Die! before, so you might say that I'm a Die! Die! Die! virgin. Not any more though .I listened to this once all the way through as I do usually when I have an album to review, and then I listened again and again...
‘Harmony’ is actually the New Zealanders’ fourth outing to date. Where have I been for the last few years? This is just awesome in the extreme. Don't just believe me though, as they have over 12,000 likes on Facebook. They reportedly take their influences from the likes of the brilliant Bailterspace and Devo, and I can certainly hear likenesses in them. Likeness to anyone else, however, stops there though, as Die! Die! Die! make a noise of their own.
With claims to fame such as being produced by Chris Townsend of Portishead fame and having recorded at Blackbox in France, you might expect me to say that the sound and feel to this is first class. Well, it is. It has that professional feel to it, but it is also as raw and intense as hell.
Founding members Andy Wilson and Michael Prain have persistently spewed out albums and live shows of distinct ferocity, and this album also introduces the bass rumblings of Michael Logie from the Mint Chicks.
It kicks off with a guitar sound similar to that of a demented wasp stuck in an ice cream cone with the top on. ‘Oblivious Oblivion’ is a tremendous start to any album, but the title track just carries on in the same ferocious style with doubled-up vocals continuing to be half hidden behind the waspish rhythms. ‘Harmony’ itself is just four and a half minutes of get-lost-in-your –own-space brilliance, which kicks you out at the end dazed and confused. ‘Season’s Revenge’ is, however, a slower affair craftily inserted in the middle with a drum beat that you will remember from one of Joy Division’s albums
But don't fret it as it soon gets going again with ‘No One Owns a View’. Amongst the mayhem, however, there are some nice harmonies such as on ‘Twitching Sunshine’. But it's the wandering, questioning, sometimes emotional rawness that gets to you. Ending in true style with the Portishead-ish ‘Get Back’, this is an album not to be missed.
I don't condone driving at speed as the nine points on my licence will tell you, but try moving the Speedo needle up on a cold dark night with your beam on down a country road with ‘Harmony’ on the stereo. It's kind of like being in your own private B-movie for a little while. Sweet...