Album Reviews

The Death Set – Worldwide

(Counter) UK release date: 7 April 2008

If John Waters is Baltimore’s movie pope of trash, then The Death Set are following in a similar vein in the music world.

Like Waters’ Pink Flamingos or Female Trouble there is nothing polished about Worldwide in the slightest, but it is an infectious record pack with lo-fi kick ass tunes. While too many worry about being cool, The Death Set are setting about making music fun, and just occasionally making music obscene. There must be something in the water in that town.

Musically you’ll find nothing more complex that a few synth lines and a basically programmed drum machine, but there is something about The Death Set that is undeniably infectious. Maybe it’s the unhinged vocal delivery that finds its way on to most of these tracks – these songs just sound like they were fun to have written and recorded. Imagine a retarded Gary Numan (Superzero) or TransAm minus any political agenda and you’re part of the way there. Picture Bis being disgusted at rival synth bands for dumbing down and you’re home and dry.

It’s not all twee keyboards though, oh no, every so often the thrash of guitars steps into the breach to give the album a little extra muscle. Check out the frantic blast of Day In The Wife to discover what would happen if Minor Threat were a disco band.

Essentially then The Death Set are a punk band, with a leaning towards the absurd. If you didn’t know that that they were from Australia via Baltimore, you could be forgiven for think they might come from Japan. Several of these songs remind you of the fidget pop that the likes of Melt Banana and Polysics pump out with an enthusiasm that simply isn’t human.

In addition only four of these eighteen songs extend past the two minute mark, which means that none of them outstay their welcome and just stay long enough to get the job done. Others are so short it feels like they turned up, forgot what the job was and went home again.

In short this is a album that you put on for instant and disposable thrills. It’s fun and fairly unchallenging (although at times it sounds like a toddler protest group at a bowling alley). Still if you don’t find yourself squeaking along to Intermission and its refrain of Motherfucking Death Set then you have forgotten what it is to have fun. Sort it out.

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More on The Death Set
The Death Set – Michel Poiccard
The Death Set – Worldwide