Don’t Say We Don’t Offend You, Yeah?

Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

In the midst of what will likely be a woefully short revival of early 00′s dancepunk, Does It Offend You, Yeah? may not be getting as much hype, as say, The Strokes. But that doesn’t mean the new album by these British genre-nomads doesn’t rock.

So what’s the warning about? Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You is, appropriately enough, surprisingly awesome. Best known for padding a Fast & Furious trailer and thus confined to the pit of irrelevance, DIOYY have launched a full-on artistic offensive on the claim to the 2011est band out there, beating out entrenched players like DFA1979 and The Strokes with a bold and unexpected display of brilliantly orchestrated chaos. Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You feels futuristic and yet familiarly lo-tech, asking only for that same suspension of disbelief you gave Muse when you first heard them as a self-important teenager with a penchant for screamo.

DIOYY? are a little late to the disco for the future-retro aesthetic, but the glitter-speckled blackness of space is where their pseudo-reinvented sound belongs. This album permeates the music multiverse, seamlessly straddling the heavily contested boundary between the ruins of the rock sector and the ruins of dance, creeping menacingly along the outskirts like the smoke monster from Lost. Vocalist James Rushent, having recently gotten over stage fright or something, allegedly, has learned to propel his every-rockstar voice through the sheen of synths and samples, exposing a talent few coud have identified based solely on You Don’t Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into. Oscillating violently and abruptly between enigmatic lullaby and anthemic assertion, Rushent’s every vocal inflection is a calculated innovation meant to induce head banging, teeth grinding, and lyrics-botching in an audience eager to relive the nostalgia of its younger years.

What they don’t warn you about is that songs like Yeah! and John Hurt sound like they actually are Muse songs, updated for the New Millenium, and it’s easy to picture Rushent writing Pull Out My Insides wearing (a torn Empire of the Sun shirt and) Brandon Flower’s panties. DIOYY? didn’t copy anyone’s sound so much as reverse engineer their influences’ winning algorithms and apply the results to their own, giving the decade-old genre a much needed injection of 2011 in the process. This is perfectly acceptable because Muse and The Killers are already dead to most people, leaving the cultural baton in electronic limbo like a modern sword in the stone, waiting patiently for an artist daring enough to take up the cause.

Where other dance+rock prophets stumbled, Does It Offend You, Yeah? may be the true messiah that will lead the electro-choked, house-happy hipsters to the hardcore-synthpop promised land, (which some claim is merely a mirage masquerading as Sleigh Bells) where we can prove once and for all that we haven’t given up on our roots entirely because we still love watching skinny, pale white kids croon over heavy guitars, and by now we can all accept that the four-on-the-floor disco beat has become the standard for modern music. (Sorry dubstep.)


Previous Post:

Next Post: