Strange and disappointing to think that You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine is Death From Above 1979’s only full-length. The pairing of drummer/vocalist Sebastien Grainger with bassist/vocalist Jesse Keeler is formidable and vicious. A new album is supposedly coming within the next year, as the band reformed in 2011, but it’s going on 3 years now, and I’m not holding my breath. Would love to have seen where the band went next, because their first 2 EPs were so damn promising.
Bands like DFA1979 make me appreciate noise rock. It’s a spastic, unpredictable genre, but one that takes a certain degree of poise and grace. That may come as some surprise, because the tenets of a genre like this are effectively organized chaos; the operative word there is organized.
Bands like Loma Prieta and Lightning Bolt have bottled seemingly boundless energy and created the equivalent of tight, structured Pollock paintings. There is form and function amidst the madness.
Looking at You’re a Woman through that lens, this record hasn’t aged especially well. It was quite difficult to get through this time around. I’m not sure if that’s because of how I remembered the album, or just that trends have shifted and morphed over the nine and a half years since this record was released.
When I was still ‘making’ music – and I use the term ‘making’ in a half-handed manner, because I am hardly a musician – I was geeked about bass tone. Anything that sounded like it was way overmodulated and gritty and raw and gnarly, I was into.
At one point, I even MySpace messaged the dudes in The Faint to see how they achieved their tone. They told me, no joke, that they put forks in the heads of their amps to achieve certain sounds. Actual cutlery. I was into it.
That’s something positive I can say, though, about You’re a Woman: it’s a fuzzy noise nerd’s dream. Grainger’s drumming is on point, too, but like Lightning Bolt, having just two instruments is severely limiting, even if they sound huge.
Just another instance in this project of me misremembering what I thought a band sounded like, or overstating how good I thought a group was. It’s decent, but nothing like what I remembered.
From You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, this is “Little Girl” –
Standout tracks: “Romantic Rights” and “Little Girl”
Weakest track: “Sexy Results”?
RIYL: Lightning Bolt, Big Business, Marijuana Deathsquads, Loma Prieta, Death Grips.