The Death Set | Michel Poiccard

Counter (2011)
By REYAN ALI  |  March 17, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars


Michel Poiccard insists on having it all. On the one hand, the Death Set want this sophomore record to extend the spazzy, mega-hyper, electronic-effects-laced party-punk on which the Australian-born/US-based band founded their rep. At the same time, this is their first LP since co-founder and co-singer/guitarist Beau Velasco's abrupt death in December 2009, and avoiding the aftershocks of his loss would be both insensitive and artistically shortsighted. So the Death Set essay a Jekyll/Hyde routine of dramatic contrasts, pitting lightning-fried guitars, unpredictable computerized effects, and goofy bullshit against mellow hooks and relative subtlety. That first approach dominates, allowing them to channel an amusing roster of reference points: Beastie Boys, Le Tigre, the White Stripes, Sum 41, Contra, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the snottiest skate-punk band you can imagine. Johnny Siera, now taking on sole vocal duties, is the make-or-break question mark, alternating between competent shouts and the shrieks of an annoying little kid having a tantrum. He's far more reliable when things calm down; both he and the band make good on autumnal tracks "I Miss You Beau Velasco" and "Is It the End Again?" As traumatizing as Velasco's death must have been, it's impelled the group to flesh out interesting new hues.

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  Topics: CD Reviews , death, Australian, album review,  More more >
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