Hooting & Howling Magazine Howls About Die! Die! Die!'s 'Harmony'
What do you mean you’ve never heard of 'Die! Die! Die!'? It doesn’t matter, because you have now, and they are here with their forth studio album ‘Harmony’ and UK tour dates to boot. The threesome, consisting of vocalist Andrew Wilson, bassist Michael Logie and drummer Michael Prain, are an export from New Zealand and, after honing their talents for a few years, may have perfected their sound. The trio teamed up with acclaimed producer, Chris Townsend, who has worked with the likes of Portishead and Violent Femmes. Now, praise is coming from all angles. Rolling Stone Australia even dubbed the album ‘their finest work yet’ and it is a captivating unity of raw energy and powerful punk elements, as well as including salutes to pop.
A mesmerising flourish of guitar kicks off the album in "Oblivious Oblivion" with astounding effect. A great start to the album and a hail to a post punk sound. This is also true of the first single from ‘Harmony’, entitled "Trinity"; a song that has a little bit of Smashing Pumpkins about it where the first 40 seconds of it merely build the intro in anticipation for the full force of the rest of the song. “I am the one to step outside” is chanted as the guitars wail. Not an iota of sound wave is left unfilled on this album and every second buzzes with energy. B-side to "Trinity", "Erase Waves" - as well as later track, "No One Owns A View" - is a punk explosion of rasping, blazing guitars, yelping punk vocals and drums not dissimilar to those you might find in a high school rock-band (in a good way). The titular track is a euphoric buzz of formulaic percussion and vocals and has potential alt-rock summer anthem written all over it. The album continues with "Seasons Revenge" a twangy romp back to the Britpop era, with a few distant screams thrown in for good measure.
By the time "Changeman" comes along, things are starting to get a bit monotonous and the repetitive beats and melodies have been heard earlier on in the album. However, "16 Shades Of Blue" is at least a little bit different (and is nowhere near as raunchy as the infamous book with a similar name). Still, with fast drums and trashing strums of strings, but also a bit of bubbling and warping of synth at the start and in little bursts throughout, it calms your ears. "Twitching Sunshine" features a constant layer of guitar that sounds like the opening riff to "Sound Of The Underground", except sped up 100 times.
The closing track, "Get Back", shows its first use of a piano melody and is (mostly) slower and softer than the former songs., This is apart from the rush and explosion of sheer rage near the end, sounding like an explosion in a music shop, culminating in the lyrics “live how you live, die how you die”.
Whilst a lot of ‘Harmony’ is a welcome punch of energy and punk melodies that pick you up and shake you to wake you, there are also some moments when the ears feel a tad abused by the constant hammering. Still, we all enjoy a bit of angst, don’t we?
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