After meeting at a Sonic Youth concert in the late ’90s, Canadians Sebastien Grainger and Jesse Keeler shanked their way onto the music scene in the early 2000s as Death from Above 1979 with the force of an unrestrained prison riot. Grainger and Keeler often joked that they had met in prison or on a pirate ship, and most news outlets believed them, which just added to their grungy and bedraggled aesthetic. Death from Above 1979’s first EPs and full-length were a combination of noisecore, punk, and metal — the drums punished, the synths drilled, and the bass, soaked in fuck-off distortion, screeched and wailed.
After only five years of musical assault, DFA 1979 decided to call it quits, citing major creative differences between Grainger and Keeler. Since then, fans have been champing at the bit for new music or a tour, with rumors always abound about a reunion. Both members had various side projects to fill the downtime. Keeler helmed MSTRKRFT with Al-P while Grainger recorded a few solo folk albums and split time between Bad Tits/Desert, multiple dance remix monikers, and Sebastien Grainger and The Mountains. Now, after eight years, the duo has gone back into the studio and recorded a new album, The Physical World.
To celebrate the new release, we have gone into the Death from Above 1979 catalog and put together a ranking (from worst to best) of all songs from both EPs, the 2004 full-length You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, as well as the brand-new The Physical World. How did we stack up against your own list? Let us know in the comments. We know you will.
Senior Staff Writer