Ten years might separate this second DFA1979 LP from the Canadian pair’s explosive debut of 2004, ‘You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine’ (Spotlight feature). But to listen to the records consecutively, it’s tough to spot the seams, let alone any pronounced division between sets. Anyone hankering for ‘You’re A Woman’ part two, here’s your wishes fulfilled.
Having initially knocked this project on the head in 2006, members Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F Keeler found new ways to realise their creative urges – the former releasing a string of solo records, the latter operating as 50% of electro coupling, MSTRKRFT. But those expecting said pursuits to impact on the sound of ‘The Physical World’ will find such traces conspicuous by their absence. From opener ‘Cheap Talk’ onwards, this is never anything but the purest DFA1979, served flaming hot.
Which was just fine back when – but it’s definitely a disappointment to not hear the band even hinting at an expansion of their stripped-raw sound, just deep-groove bass and heavily hit drums. More of the same will go down spectacularly well in a live setting, but for home listening ‘The Physical World’ soon burns itself out. Thundering cuts like ‘Government Trash’ and (the excellently titled) ‘Right On, Frankenstein!’ offer the cheapest kind of thrills, both hollowed by the end of their respective three minutes.
The calmer creep of ‘White Is Red’ and synth whispers of ‘Trainwreck 1979’ (listen below) make for an interesting mid-section, but ‘The Physical World’ isn’t a collection to keep still to. See these songs in the flesh and bug out – it’s what they want.
Words: Mike Diver
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