Death From Above 1979 makes their considerable racket with only bass, drums, and the occasional Moog squelch assist. This isn't a gimmick -- between Sebastien Grainger's frantic wail and the overdriven bass riffs of Jesse F. Keeler, the duo's You're a Woman, I'm a Machine pulses with a steady, sweaty energy that's punctuated with arena-sized hooks. "Blood on Our Hands" boils dance-punk nearly all the way down, leaving only a relentless hi-hat cymbal, while "Turn It Out" and "Cold War" churn on double-time rhythms and rudimentary, yet completely effective bass runs. The duo's setup certainly limits their range, which means the album can occasionally resemble one long song. But at just over a half-hour, it's over before any questions about the lack of guitars can even start to form. There are hyper indie rock flare-ups, like in the Hot Snakes/Rocket from the Crypt yelp of "Going Steady." And "Sexy Results" is a flirtatious and amplified cross of new wave and Rapture-style strut that comes complete with a cowbell upbeat. Preoccupation with the opposite sex provides some of You're a Woman, I'm a Machine's strongest moments, from Grainger's "I don't need you/I want you" clarification on "Romantic Rights" to the frenetic late-album standout "Pull Out." Other highlights include the title track's layered vocals and wiry punk revivalism, and the subtler "Black History Month," which is a nice break from the record's consistently jerking pace. In the 2000s, dance-oriented energy keeps creeping regularly into rock & roll. On You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, Death from Above 1979 makes people move by exposing the live-wire tension rock music had all along.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus