By Molly Schramm, Contributor
[Last Gang; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Freeze Me”, “Nomad”, “NVR 4EVR”
Canadian punk duo Death From Above — composed of Sebastien Grainger (vocals and drums) and Jesse F. Keeler (bass) —have been storming the music scene since 2001. Both have had a strong fan base and critic backing throughout their career. Outrage! Is Now still expresses the indie, underground vibes of the duo’s earlier work. However, it brings a sense of maturity and growth.
The first single of Outrage! Is Now, “Freeze Me”, shows a bit of diversity on the album as a whole. While all of the songs open with loud banging drums or guitar riffs, “Freeze Me” opens with a simple, yet catchy piano riff. It then gradually builds into the gritty guitar sound that is expected from DFA. Though this song is very much “punk rock” and still fits into the sound Death From Above usually creates, it was a smart marketing move from Last Gang to make “Freeze Me” the lead single. Unlike “Freeze Me”, the opening track to the album, “Nomad”, is loud and in your face. It’s an anthemic track that shows DFA were holding nothing back in the creation of this album.
As a whole, this album solely relies on heavy bass and drums that are loud and in your face: it’s what DFA is known for. In a way, it can be a bit repetitive because there’s not much variation or diversity in sound. However, hardcore fans of the band or loud rock music could appreciate the heavy guitar. Death From Above’s sound on Outrage! Is Now could closely compare to that of British rock duo Royal Blood, especially in tracks such as “Statues” or “NVR 4EVR”. Other comparisons could include the likes of Muse, or Matt Bellamy’s operatic vocals, in tracks such as “Moonlight”.
Overall, while Death From Above didn’t necessarily change up their sound or do anything that’s new and groundbreaking from their older tunes (or anything in rock music at the moment), they created a more mature sound. The duo was able to create a 10 track album that contains heavy, gritty guitar that would definitely cater to a large demographic. All in all, DFA are definitely pioneers in the progressive punk rock genre – Outrage! Is Now is definitely reinforcing that idea, despite its lack of diversity in sound.