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The Death Set - Worldwide

The Death Set, Worldwide

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

NOW here’s an oddity. A madcap collection of rock punk songs that offer a micro-blast of sometimes catchy choruses, screamed lyrics, chaos, violence, humour and the reaffirmation of the value of going f**king nuts!

In many ways, The Death Set’s Worldwide album reminded me of the similarly frenetic joy of listening to the Go! Team, only less so. The same giddy approach seems to have gone into creating the tunes, although The Go! Team are more consistently enjoyable.

Worldwide, on the other hand, could have you jumping around the living room like a 12-year-old one minute, or wanting to throw away the CD in the next. Its 18 tracks fly at you fast and furiously, but not everything hits and there are times when the sounds blur into one.

Nevertheless, it is short. At 25 minutes, that’s quite an achievement and it never really outstays its welcome like some longer winded LPs do. But you have to be in the right mood.

Of the highlights, Negative Thinking provides a rollicking early treat, its background melody working well in tandem with the rapid-fire vocals, while Spaz offers kooky, stripped back fun (by their standards) – and it’s only 45 seconds.

Around The World has a pub sing-along when drunk quality that’s quite endearing, Day In The Wire is a hedonistic blur of rock riffs and shouted vocals that’s great for playing loud and annoying the neighbours, and Moving Forward is another raw, ragged pop-punk rockout that’s terrific fun.

Less popular were tracks like MFDS (or motherfucking Death Set), which attempts to go urban and employ hip-hop beats, the pointless Bla!, and efforts like Cold Teeth and Superzero which sound like lazy re-runs of the tracks that precede them.

Still, there are probably just a few more highs than lows, with Had A Bird and Selective Memories also providing late bursts of enjoyment.

The Death Set, for those that want to know more, hail from Baltimore, Maryland, by way of Gold Coast, Australia, where Johnny Siera met co-founding member Beau Velasco in 2005. Both drawn to each other’s reckless care of music, the duo united to write fleeting songs with lifelong hooks and overdriven melody.

Hell-bent on recording and touring, The Death Set moved first to Sydney, quickly to Brooklyn, and finally to the meaner streets of Baltimore where their punk rock abandon could thrive.

Buoyed by the DIY network they found there, the band recorded and released their first two EPs – To (2006, Rabbit Foot) and Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods (2007, Morphius) – honing their homemade sound of jury-rigged gear and overblown mics. The Death Set soon began work on their first full-length, recording at The Copy Cat building in Baltimore, an artist warehouse studio where the band lived at the time.

Their debut album, meanwhile, is being released on Ninja Tune’s Counter Records imprint, and is produced, engineered and mixed by Siera at The Copy Cat, with further mixing by Rob Girardi at Lord Baltimore Studios. So now you know…

Download picks: Negative Thinking, Spaz, Around The World, Day In The Wire, Moving Forward, Had A Bird, Selective Memories

Track listing:

  1. Solve It
  2. Listen To His Collision
  3. Negative Thinking
  4. Intermission
  5. Spaz
  6. Cold Teeth
  7. Around The World
  8. Impossible
  9. Superzero
  10. Day In The Wife
  11. Bla
  12. Moving Forward
  13. MFDS
  14. Had A Bird
  15. Peak Oil
  16. This Song
  17. Heard It All Before
  18. Selective Memories