Articles tagged with You Say Party! We Say Die!

Real Boys – “Vacation”

Real Boys
As I recently wrote about for Exclaim!, members of You Say Party, Oh No! Yoko and GSTS! formed a new band called Real Boys. Listen to the perky, pop rocking, rather ON!Y-sounding single “Vacation” below.

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My heart needs a love dance

Make XXXX not XXX
Los Campesinos! love exclamation marks, but not as much as You Say Party! We Say Die! love exclamation marks. The two groups recently came together for an exclamation mark-heavy remix of the Twin Peaks-inspired “Laura Palmer’s Prom.” Unlike the dreamscape synths of the original version (which appeared on YSP!WSD!’s awesome third album, XXXX), Los Campesinos! have replaced the backing track with a fuzzy shoegaze arrangement that sounds almost identical to “When You Sleep” by My Bloody Valentine.

XXXX was released in Canada last September via Paper Bag. Next week, the album will finally be issued in the USA.

Back when XXXX was first released, I wrote a cover story on YSP!WSD! for BeatRoute.

MP3: “Laura Palmer’s Prom (Los Campesinos Remix)”

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A new sound for YSP!WSD!

You Say Party! We Say Die! - XXXX
Until now, You Say Party! We Say Die! was a band defined by the exclamation marks in its name. The five members had plenty of energy but not much in the way of subtlety, specializing in frenetic dance punk and leftist political idealism. Even when playing a ballad, the group lacked a delicate touch. “You’re Almost There,” from the 2007 album Lose All Time, was a solo piano ballad—a pretty tune, but it suggested that the only way the band knew how to quiet down was to stop playing completely.

XXXX is the group’s third album, and within the first few bars, it’s clear that everything is different. Opening track “There Is XXXX (Within My Heart)” begins with a chiming electric paino and singer Becky Ninkovic’s dark, dramatic vocals. The instruments enter gradually as the song eases into a mid-tempo dance groove that doesn’t properly break out until the two minute mark. This slow burner sets the the tone for the album, which emphasizes dynamic, carefully-constructed arrangements over mindless energy. When Ninkovic sings “Sex, drugs, boring” on “Glory,” it sounds like a mission statement—this time, the band is taking it seriously.

As well as undergoing a stylistic makeover, YSP!WSD! has shifted its lyrical focus away from politics to more personal matters. The title XXXX is a code for L-O-V-E, and it provides the thematic focus for the entire album: three songs feature the word “love” (or, rather, “XXXX”) in the title, and even those that don’t usually feature the word at some point during the lyrics. The honeyed 80′s ballad “Laura Palmer’s Prom” (based on a character from Twin Peaks) has a refrain of “My heart needs a love dance.” The Bat for Lashes-style dance rocker “Dark Days” contains the line “I love your love light” in its chorus.

mp3: “Laura Palmer’s Prom”

Equally as important a difference in the group’s sound is the improved production. Unlike previous albums, which sounded raw and hurried, XXXX is sonically gorgeous. Recorded over several months with producer Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, the New Pornographers), the crystalline electronics and thundering drums finally do justice to the band’s potential.

XXXX is so much better than YSP!WSD!’s previous albums that it almost sounds like a different band entirely. There are still glimmers of the band’s previous style: the gang vocals during the breakdown of “Cosmic War Avengers” or Ninkovic’s “One! Two! Three! Four!” yells on “Make XXXX.” But for the most part, the band sounds nothing like the one that demanded listeners to Hit the Floor! on its 2005 debut. A lush synth pop gem, XXXX is a must-listen.
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