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On Second Listen: Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into

on September 06, 2008, 10:36am

Upon glancing at the title for Does It Offend You, Yeah?’s debut album, You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into, it’s safe to conclude that it is one hell of a long album title. Yet just as its title is lengthy, so is its reach, as the debut is gaining notoriety with each passing month. Much of this is due to the band’s performances at festivals around the globe and an upcoming opening slot for Nine Inch Nails this fall. As many know, Trent Reznor doesn’t usually pick bad opening bands. The band’s situation aside, there’s reason for its allure:  the album in question might actually be one of the best debuts of the year.

Mistakenly called Nu-Rave when first debuted by some in the music press, Does It Offend You Yeah? doesn’t fit nicely into any music snob’s genre term dictionary, which might explain some of the titular offensiveness. This would be the case if not for the fact that the band’s name is completely random and originates from a quote by Ricky Gervais in the original The Office. Although considered ridiculous by some and amazing by others, the band’s name has no effect on the album whatsoever. With forgotten conceptions about the act, anyone can find something to enjoy on You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into.

The group was originally composed of DJs before moving on to becoming a full band, and it shows on the album, which changes styles, tempo, and mood like any good DJ mix would have it. The twist? This is done by the hands of one group. The band has been lumped in with everyone from Justice and Klaxons to even Muse, but this band is the ultimate jack of all trades. Any hip mix album might feature some of those bands, if not all of them, yet this album makes it easy for people to just pop it in and enjoy a great mix up.

The debut starts unapologetically with a purely electronic instrumental track that features what seems to be dialogue between the instruments. “Battle Royale” is a slow building, high energy song that gets the mix started off on a good foot for the ravers.  “With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)”, the album completely changes gears to a more straightforward, hard rock song. Featuring backing harmonies, a simple guitar riff, and drums that only add to the rock atmosphere of the song, this is the first of many tracks showing the range of the band. Two vocoder heavy tracks sandwich the current single from the band, “Dawn of the Dead”. The first, “We Are Rockstars”, is the closer at their shows; pure headbanging electro. “Doomed Now” is a bit strange; a pop rock song that you could imagine Bloc Party or Kasabian playing but DIOYY? makes the vocals distorted and VOILA!, check off “weird vocals pop song” off the mix CD checklist.  “Dawn of the Dead”, the track in between the last two, shows how easy it is to make Top 40 pop rock. The song could be played by most bands at Warped Tour or could find itself on MTV (not a music video, more likely played in between shows about bitchy rich girls).

“Attack of the 60 ft Lesbian Octopus” is what many gravitate to on first listen. The song title may be crazy but somehow is accurate, opening with some radio static which morphs into what could be best described as soundtrack music to people fleeing from a giant monster. It’s that simple. This song is the electronic rock equivalent to that monster movie, meaning it’s ominous and energy packed. Sadly, it’s under two minutes long, but mix album transition tracks don’t usually last that long anyway. “Let’s Make Out” is a place on the album where the band shows their influences. Featuring Death From Above 1979’s Sebstien Grainger on vocals, the song takes the place on the album where you would put DFA1979 on an actual mix disc. It’s that close.

“Weird Science” is the Daft Punk song of the album. It is a highly technical, dance rock song and is a reminder of that forgotten time when Daft Punk ruled the nation. “Being Bad Feel Pretty Good” is another song showing the softer side of the band, with bass and guitar being the driving elements of the song and emotive vocals adding to the overall feeling. “Epic Last Song” closes the album with lyrics taking center stage and simple riffs to let all the listeners leave on an emotional level.

You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into is the ultimate 2008 mix CD. It has pop, rock, punk, electro, dance, instrumentals, distorted vocals, well sung emotional vocals, and it opens well and closes excellently. It just happens to be that the album is by one band that understands all these styles and is able to play them like any good DJ could.

So what you get is changing tempos and styles and constant entertainment. You get a band that actually plays like a band, with real instruments and stage presence. You get a wacky band name, a wacky album title, and wacky song titles. Be wary though, this album isn’t for everyone. You need to be open minded and have no conceptions of what the band “should” sound like. If you can be these things, you will be able to enjoy an album that will be hard to take out of your listening rotation.

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