Ontario Bands Week: Album Review – Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (2004)

DFA 1979 are a very unique band. They are a duo with no guitars. Just a bass, some drums, and sometimes some keyboards. The magic noises that Jesse F. Keelor can get from his bass are incredibly new and unique. The first time I heard this band I had no idea it was a bass making all those weird squeals and squawks.

The album was produced by Al-P(who is in Jesse F. Keelor’s other band MSTRKRFT), and mastered by Joao Carvalho.

Turn It Out – This song should be called Turn It Down because about 10 seconds in those high pitched bass squealies I mentioned earlier will be enough to blow your speakers or your eardrums.

Romantic Rights – This song has an infectious beat and a mix of ‘normal’ bass sounds and what sounds like an evil, futuristic robot noise.

Going Steady – Sounds like an old school punk song at the beginning. Then Sebastian Grainger pounds the drums into submission. The vocals sound like Sebastian is speaking through a voice changer, but that is because Jesse is plucking his heavily modified, supercharged bass strings at the same time Sebastian is singing.

Go Home, Get Down – This song has some noisecore in it. The bass sounds a bit like motorcycles racing past and Sebastian’s vocal chords probably hurt a bit after singing that one.

Blood On Our Hands – I figured at some point since this was a 2 piece, there would have to be a comparison to The White Stripes. This song has elements of The Hardest Button To Button. Since Meg has left the music business, and Jack wants to soldier on, I can’t help but wonder how great a band if Jack White and DFA 1979 joined forces. I can only imagine.

Black History Month – The bass groove is very infectious here. The lyrics are thoughtful and Grainger’s beat is almost danceable.

Little Girl – I can well imagine this song would go over well at a rave. A fast paced groove that never lets up the pace through the entire song.

Cold War – I could almost hear this one redone by a punk band. A fast pace and some attitude. That’s all a punk rocker needs.

You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine – The guitar work is wonderfully droning and the drums soldier on.

Pull Out – I am pretty sure this song is about person who has a car stuck in the ditch and after you hook the chains onto the car, that person keeps yelling “Pull Out. Pull Out. Pull Out.”

Sexy Results – If it had been written in 1977, this song may well have unseated Stayin’ Alive for the best of the disco era, plus there are cowbells, so it has one up on the BeeGees.

One very annoying thing are the lyrics for all of the songs are pasted together in small print on the inside of the bi fold, in no particular order.

A very solid first album from this unique band. Looking back to the Nu Metal and Nickelback clones that were big in 2004, this was a new and refreshing change.



8 thoughts on “Ontario Bands Week: Album Review – Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (2004)

  1. Another band I need to get to (and always meant to). I remember record shopping with James one time and pointing out one of their CDs as we passed by, and he turned around, snagged it and took it home. So I’ll be there’s an endorsement from him too!

    I remember one time walking past Snealy Dees and seeing they had a DFA1979 nacho plate on special. I can only imagine.

    The only other band I’ve seen that was just bass and drums was Big Business, opened for Tool when we saw them. I wasn’t a big fan, but I like the players in the band… guess it just didn’t translate well in a stadium? Or something? Anyway. Probably I was just so ready for Tool to hit stage…


  2. J. says:

    Sounds pretty great. I’ve only ever heard a handful of stuff from these guys. One album, which was pretty good, though I’m not all that familiar with anything. I’ll jump back in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are not for everyone that’s fro sure.
      I am guessing the producer or the record company swayed them to go in a more listenable direction with Trainwreck. It really is a good song. Not watered down as often can happen when a unique group changes their style for a hit.

      Liked by 1 person

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