Die! Die! Die!

Die! Die! Die!

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Auckland, New Zealand noise-punks Die! Die! Die! are nowhere near as violently abrasive as their name implies. Indeed, they may well not even be as violently abrasive as they might think they are. A brief album (its ten songs barely reach 25 minutes all told) with nary a wasted note, Die Die Die takes as its starting points the no wave skronk of assaultive late-'70s acts like Mars and DNA, as well as the lyrically and musically aggressive stance of those bands' logical culmination. (Naturally, Big Black's Steve Albini engineered this album, and it has the raw, exciting, live-in-a-room feeling of all of his best work.) However, the other side of the trio's musical personality is expressed in drummer Michael Prain and bassist Henry Oliver (later to be replaced by Lachlan Anderson), who are possibly the most ultra-tight rhythm section in all of indie rock at this moment. Therefore, singer and guitarist Andrew Wilson's sore-throat yelps and scratchy metal-edged guitar aren't matched by an equally raw and undisciplined rhythm section, but by a bassist and drummer specializing in the kind of rubbery aggro-funk first popularized by the likes of Gang of Four and the Au Pairs. So by taking equally from two diametrically opposed musical forces, Die! Die! Die! end up with a sound that's initially abrasive but ultimately surprisingly easy to enjoy.

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