Dance Disaster Movement

We Are from Nowhere

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Over the past couple of years, the dance-punk genre has resurfaced and grown with virus-like speed, resulting in scores of bands that are as infatuated with dark, arty noise as they are with the dancefloor. Despite all the competition, Dance Disaster Movement still have plenty to offer to the style, based on their debut album We Are from Nowhere. Unlike the taut precision that guides some of their contemporaries, the duo opts for a loose, raw sound that falls more on the punk side of the equation and balances its formidable noise with a surprisingly soft side. "I Want Your Sass," the opening track on We Are from Nowhere, exemplifies Dance Disaster Movement's sound, with siren-like guitars, pulsing synths, stuttering, paranoid vocals, and forceful-yet-complicated drumming that ebb and flow into dreamy, reflective passages. It's a simple contrast, but that just makes it all the more effective; even though the rest of the songs on We Are from Nowhere more or less just repeat this pattern, it still sounds fresh for most of the album. Even within this rather strict formula, the band comes up with some appealing variations on it, ranging from the extreme angularity of "C'Est la Vie" and "Got the Piece of Mind (Shoot Me in the F*cking Head)," which stretch Dance Disaster Movement's explosive/implosive dynamics to the breaking point, to "The Shots," an extended jam that reveals a prettier, poppier side to their sound. There's also a slightly experimental angle to DDM's music: "Erewhonmoreferaew" sounds like a bunch of random samples thrown into a sequencer, resulting in a fusion of punk, lo-fi and glitch; "Quarkscrews" is similarly volatile but much cuter and more melodic, sporting tweaked keyboards that sound like R2D2 lending some guest vocals. Despite these interludes, We Are from Nowhere's focus is on dense, intense attitude, at which Dance Disaster Movement excels. The album's buzzy, oversaturated production goes a long way towards this mood, adding a "you are there quality" that suggests it was recorded in someone's basement doubling as an impromptu dance club/studio. The closing track "Seizure" literally finishes with a bang -- the only logical conclusion to such an explosive set of songs. While it's a few shades away from greatness, on We Are from Nowhere Dance Disaster Movement hint that they have more than just kinetic energy, noise and trendiness on their side.

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