LondonNet Gig Review
Death From Above 1979
Tuesday, February 8
Sex Beat, Go!
Combustible rocknroll duo hailing from Vancouver fire
up White Heat at the Infinity
The moustachioed lads of Death From Above 1979 are about to blow
up. With hordes of college DJs salivating over their lustful dance-cum-rock
'n' roll maelstrom, and drummer Sebastien Grainger having recently
taken up with Kelly Osbourne (of arguable relevance, but it probably
won't hurt), the group is on the cusp of stardom - which is what
made their short set at White Heat on Tuesday that much sweeter.
Grainger and bassist Jesse Keeler formed DFA 1979 after splitting
from Toronto hardcore band Femme Fatale, originally with the intention
of forming a double-bass band. Grainger took up a drum set instead,
and their Jesus Lizard-on-ecstasy sound was born. Although they've
certainly pumped up the danceable factor since the release of the
heavier Heads Up EP in 2002, they still can't be relegated to skinny-tie
limbo in the diehard school of 80s revivalists.
Accordingly, their brief and immaculately tight one a.m. set at
White Heat was packed. After navigating their gear through a crowd
dancing to the spinning of regular DJs, they took stage and immediately
churned out the crowd-pleasing Romantic Rights, a song that pulsated
with brimming libido while, ironically, Grainger sang about wanting
to raise children, a curiously recurrent theme in the band's songs.
Pull Out, a song that Grainger unceremoniously announced was about
sex and nothing else, followed. Like their music, DFA 1979's stage
antics are compact, hard and fast - Grainger and Keeler are both
intense but contained, assaulting their instruments calculatedly
with a minimum of small talk. Little Girl from their new album followed,
with Grainger howling orgasmically over Keeler's loping bass line.
They seem to have purged their set of the volatile interludes that
made their first EP so explosively appealing. Although the band's
post-hippie communal love vibe can be a bit grating (see Losing
Friends and their fawning message board) and incongruous with their
musical thrashings, they take a thankfully methodical approach to
shows, and had the throng before the stage at Infinity gyrating
happily with a set that ended as abruptly as it began.