You Say Party! We Say Die!
XXXX (Paper Bag Records)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., March 19, 2010
You Say Party! We Say Die!XXXX (Paper Bag)
Love's a four-letter word, so these British Columbians' third disc adores censorship. A pinging New Wave keyboard hook and Becky Ninkovic's crimson encounter with Cupid pierce hooky and haunted as Tears for Fears' "Mad World." Kate Bush leading Blondie 2.0, or Metric with fewer guitars and more melodrama? The Edge-y riffs prick a John Hughes prom-night montage in "Dark Days," which grooves bottom line rockist, while the complementary "Cosmic Wanship Avengers" flies ancient Devo beats that by song's end stick a quick-pick of keyboard rave. "Lonely's Lunch" beats a Morse code tattoo until a Phantom of the Opera break transforms it into a Concrete Blonde vampire bite. Every song could be three, but that they're not and that each individual movement advances the album's romantic arc proves all too swoonworthy. "Why don't we all shut up?" beats "Make XXXX," but "Laura Palmer's Prom" beams OMD. Late LP kick "She's Spoken For" beats hard against "XXXX/Loyalty," miasmatic bookend to the opener, and closer "Heart of Gold" washes away the album's black mascara with a Cranberries-esque tribalism. XXXX YSP! WSD! (Wed., 11pm, Elysium; Thu., 1am, Speakeasy.)