Review : You Say Party! We Say Die! - XXXX
PitchforkIt's a good thing You Say Party! We Say Die!-- the Canadian dance-punk quintet who had famously been barred from entering the United States for the past four years-- have finally gotten their visa problems worked out in time for the American release of their third LP, XXXX. Because, more than any point in their career, audiences will want to hear their new songs live. While other bands of their ilk petered out along with the intensity of the public's interest in dance-punk, YSP!WSD! have chugged along, touring tirelessly through Europe, and finally developing beyond the constraints of hi-hat 16th notes and wiry, stabbing guitar lines on a collection that encompasses both the gothic ambiance of Siouxsie and the Banshees and the tough-girl 1980s hooks of Pat Benatar.
At first glance the new album's title may seem like a reference to a porn rating, but the multiple titular Xs are actually acting as a stand-in for a four-letter word-- and not the one you think. As proved by opening track "There Is XXXX (Within My Heart)" and its repeated "there is love within my heart, there is love, love, love" refrain, XXXX stands for "love," which attests that the band is now more interested in feelings than actions. In the past, the five-piece dwelled firmly in the realm of physical wants-- see songs like "Cold Hands! Hot Bodies!" and their breathless rhythms and thumping basslines. But the slower pace and more sentimental outlook of XXXX gives listeners the necessary space and encouragement to surrender to the band's emotional message....full text
ChartattackVancouver-based rockers You Say Party! We Say Die! are letting it all out on their latest effort, XXXX, the follow-up to 2007 spectacular Lose All The Time.
The band have been working furiously in the studio mastering the eclectic sound on this production-heavy album, perfecting grooves and dance hits, while inspiring a few slower, more melodic tracks.
There's a lot of XXXX (the band's code for love) in this album and it shows. The tracks are a diverse mix of new wave and post-punk, with a few ballads that sound like they could have been featured at Molly Ringwald's prom in Sixteen Candles.
If there was ever any thought that girl-rock was floundering, let vocalist Becky Ninkovic waylay those fears with tracks like "Make XXXX" and "Laura Palmer's Prom." She channels chanteuses from Blondie, Controller.Controller and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs....full text
ComfortcomesYou Say Party! We Say Die!” is a name that makes me cringe. I am a shallow, superficial person who loathes punctuation abuse. Firstly, WHY are there exclamation points within a band name, are they REALLY necessary? Secondly, if it is ABSOLUTELY VITAL that they be there, WHY not go all the way and insert the appropriate commas and quotation marks. Your name, m’dears, should really be You Say ‘Party!’, We Say ‘Die!’
Yes, so, this mistreatment of grammar makes me very grumpy. I decide to get revenge. I attach to my noggin my criticalest pair of ears. And I push play. And then I am made even more grumpy as the final question that bubbles up in my brain is WHY must they be so GOOD? Damn cognitive dissonance.
For starters, I did not expect to hear what I heard when opener ‘There is XXXX (Within My Heart)’ wafted, rather than blazed, out of my headphones. Given that their name (with or without the appalling mistreatment of punctuation) superficially implies rebellious (die!) dance-pop (party!), it is a bit of a surprise to have the first song caress your eardrums rather than assault them. Breathy and minimalistic and littered with a woodwind (?) it is only two minutes into it that you realise XXXX means ‘love’. A discovery confirmed by the songs later on the album ‘Make XXXX’ and the puzzlingly named ‘XXXX/Loyalty’ (do you pronounce the slash?).
‘Glory’, on the other hand, is the cheerleader to ‘There is XXXX’s flautist-in-the-school-band. Playful and flirtatious, it inserts comical little gasps after every defiant utterance of such scandalous terms as “sex!” and “drugs!” ‘Cosmic Wanship Avengers,’ fittingly enough, sounds like it belongs behind the opening credits of a mid-90s superhero anime assisted by lyrics like “I want to find you in a dark alleyway” and “I know you’re scared/like the coward who hides inside”....full text
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