Any band that takes a decade off between releases is bound to have their return met with a mix of excitement and caution. When Death From Above – now minus the 1979 as they were originally – rampaged back onto the scene with 2014’s The Physical World, they might as well have never been away. A decade on from their landmark debut album, You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, it seemed that Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler still very much had it. But was it to be one last hurrah or was it just the beginning of the next explosive chapter? Well, with Outrage! Is Now, we have our answer.
Over the course of three LPs spread over a period of thirteen years, little has changed, and that’s precisely what makes them such a force to this day. Right from the word go on blistering opener ‘Nomad’, there’s absolutely no doubting whose record this is. The Toronto twosome are still rocking, still testing the strength of eardrums, and still masters of the dance-punk game.
Granted, Grainger and Keeler don’t exactly do slow, but there’s a discernible acceleration as Outrage! Is Now consummately grooves its way through ten thumping tracks. ‘All I C Is U & Me’ saps energy but sounds effortless in doing so, and is followed by the equally energy-sapping, equally circa-2005-text-speak ‘NVR 4EVR’. The latter carries with it the album’s most affecting backstory, incorporating a vial of the ashes of James Marshall Matthews Jr. – a huge fan of the band who sadly passed away before he could see them reunite – as an instrumental shaker at the beginning of the song. Now, that’s a tribute.
The pair have mentioned wanting to step out of their comfort zone here and while the change might not be as marked as perhaps intended, it quite frankly doesn’t matter. “It’s meant to be felt and stimulate you on an emotional level,” says Grainger in a statement. Outrage! Is Now does just that, and that’s plenty.