Does It Offend You, Yeah?

You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into

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Does It Offend You, Yeah? wield their synths like rock stars -- but, for that matter, they wield their guitars and cowbells like rock stars, too. The Reading quartet's debut album, You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into, has no problems synthesizing (so to speak) dance music and rock; of course, it's hardly incompatible for a great dance album to also be a great rock album. Comparisons ranging from !!! to Klaxons to A Flock of Seagulls are all apt, since the group doesn't spend much time forging its own identity before branching out into everything from new wave to synth pop to organ-driven surf rock. The first few tracks could all be show openers, from the squelchy "Battle Royale" to the single "We Are Rockstars," a distorted and, yes, cowbell-laden statement of purpose. From there, things get really interesting, beginning with the above-average synth pop homage "Dawn of the Dead" and the frenetic "Doomed Now," a new wave exercise that builds intensity as its robot vocals go on. "Let's Make Out" manages to be both faithful and prurient, summoning the same disco-punk spirits as !!! at their best (even while the title is shouted continuously throughout each chorus). It's easy to tell why Does It Offend You, Yeah? have earned such praise as a live act from the energy and intensity heard on these recordings (drummer Rob Bloomfield makes a difference, providing everything a good rock band needs). At their peak, they strike the right balance between the mature, assured Simian Mobile Disco or Vitalic and younger upstarts like New Young Pony Club. And despite relying on too many tricks from the Daft Punk playbook, they prove there's more up their sleeve than just vocoders.

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