The predictable, SXSW-fueled enthusiasm for this band’ll probably write itself: expect “fierce”, “brutal”, “blasting”. Lucky we’ve got such short memories, because the groundswell didn’t really shift in the band’s favour following their appearance at the festival last year. But no matter—we can afford patience for a debut that promises, well, fiercely brutal blasts of guitar noise. The band’s self-titled, Steve Albini-produced effort—due conveniently post-SXSW, on April 3—is, indeed, big on the pummel factor. At least it’s authentic. And brief—at 22 minutes, Die! Die! Die! is more an EP than a full-length (but how much of this noise can one take at a time?). At their best, as on “Year Nine, Yeah!”, the group is all reckless punk-rock spasm, tightly coiled and ready to spring from the speakers. “Franz (17 Die! Die! Die! Fans Can’t Be Wrong)” is another example: building off a simple riff, the song’s carried by Andrew Wilson’s shredding vocals (like a much rawer Jack White) and this endearing desperation. That desperation’s the strongest, most coherent emotion on Die! Die! Die!, and though listening to the group may be an almost painful experience, that’s really the point. But the group really needs to expand their songwriting scope if they’re going to produce a work that’s hefty but nuanced enough to garner greater attention. Attitude may carry Die! Die! Die!, but we’ll expect more from a 40-minute sophomore.
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