Black Square

by Chris Conaton

29 April 2009

cover art


Black Square

(We Are Busy Bodies)
US: 17 Mar 2009
UK: Unavailable

DD/MM/YYYY are a pretentious Canadian collective who make noisy, abstract rock music with distorted guitars and lots of synths. The pretentiousness comes from their attempts to eschew their own name and their style. They claim, despite the obvious allusion to “Date/Month/Year”, that they actually have no name. They also say they have a “no-style” approach to making music, which may be their goal, but it certainly isn’t the result. There is a lot of variety in the songs on Black Square, but to say they don’t have a style is disingenuous.

Anything with ambitions of genrelessness is bound to be hit and miss, though, and that’s definitely the case here. The hard-rocking opener “Bronzage” is followed by the punky “No Life” and the relaxed instrumental “They”. The album bounces between hard-edged rock and relaxed electronic-based songs, but only a few tracks stand out. The loose instrumental “$50,000 Guitar Head” inspired a wave of nostalgia in me with its samples of dialogue from early ‘90s arcade game Smash TV. The videogame-synth-pop of “I’m Still in the Wall” is also surprisingly catchy. Overall, though, there isn’t enough here to make Black Square worth a recommendation.

Black Square


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