Musically, the Death Set are a lot like cleaning your apartment by shoving everything into a closet and sweeping the dirt under a rug; no matter how clean things seem, there’s always a layer of dirt and grime there under the surface. This aesthetic tracks all throughout their third album, Michel Poiccard, where slick electronic elements play out over an undercurrent of gritty, driving punk, allowing for the music to feel both highly produced and completely spontaneous. All this contrast allows songs like “Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Slap” to really thrive, with the washed-out drums and vocal shouts balancing out the deep bass hits and synths and providing big returns in both freedom and fidelity. Michel Poiccard is also sprinkled with pleasant sonic surprises, like when the band channels “Boys of Summer” on “Can You Seen Straight?,” conjuring the anthemic nostalgia of Don Henley on the song’s driving chorus, delivering a dose of sentimentality that seems appropriate in the wake of founding member Beau Velasco’s passing in 2009. In a way, the album seems like a bit of a farewell to an old friend, with lots of wistful moments to be found under the layers of synths and fuzz all throughout the album, really nailing home the Death Set’s method of mixing the old with the new to create something that strides boldly forward as it fondly remembers where it came from.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney