CD Review of You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into by Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Recommended if you like
Crystal Castles, LCD Soundsystem, Boys Noize
Label
Almost Gold/Sony BMG
Does It Offend You, Yeah?:
You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into

Reviewed by James B. Eldred

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D
oes It Offend You, Yeah? want you to hate them.

That has to be it. That’s the only reason for that awful name. The only thing stupider than a sentence as a band name (i.e. Cute Is What We Aim For, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness) is a question. And as if that wasn’t enough, they double the ante by giving their album the equally dumb name of You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into. Any reviewer who has to work within a word count probably cried when seeing both. As if that wasn’t enough, the album art is bad. The combination of nigh-unreadable fonts, ultra-neon green and gross blood stains are like an entry-level design class tutorial on what not to do when creating graphics.

The only thing more annoying and frustrating than all these awful decisions is that if you can manage to look past them and actually listen to the CD, you’ll find out that it’s actually really good – great, actually. It’s like someone had a plan to make the most unmarketable album in the history of published music by creating an awfully named band/album with disgusting art but was thwarted at the 11th hour by some kids from Reading with immense talent.

It turns out that You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into is actually an apt name for the album, which offers 10 radically different tracks that run the gamut from hardcore ravers to glitch/IDM experiments and almost pop-like ballads.

Does It Offend You, Yeah (who from here on in will be referred to as DIOYY) combine live instruments (including a drummer who can only be described as brilliant) and electronic effects/synthesizers perfectly. Instrumental tracks like the opener, “Battle Royale,” make you bang your head like you’re at a hardcore punk show and move your feet like you’re at an all-night rave all at the same time. That’s a feat.

Other songs are a bit more traditional and follow the tracks laid by dance-punk favorites like LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture, while taking a slight detour into more pop-friendly territories. Both “Dawn of the Dead” and “Being Bad Feels Pretty Good” feature strong radio-friendly vocals and music just sane enough that it might squeak by on your local pre-programmed corporate alternative rock station.

But for each of those songs, there are three songs that seem intent on grabbing the radio-friendly instant-single next to them and beating the snot out of it, roughing it up and then throwing it back into the wild. “Dawn of the Dead” may feature clear vocals and a clean melody, but it’s followed by “Doomed Now,” which drapes the previously lucid singing under 20 or so distortion effects and then removes the melodies and replaces them with a strong beat and crunching guitars.

Then there are the tracks that just defy all reasonable description. “Attack Of The 60ft Lesbian Octopus” (a song with such a great name that it almost undoes the previous poor naming decisions), has a retro Hammond organ vibe and throbbing beat, and combine the terror of a 60s monster movie theme with the energy of a 90s dance party. Someone gave Godzilla club drugs.

You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into is the latest in what seems to be a growing pile of excellent electronic records. More than just dance-punk (although that label fits well enough), DIOYY belong next to acts like Crystal Castles and MGMT, as they are grabbing elements from just about every genre imaginable and throwing them through an electronic filer, transforming them into something that sounds new and fresh. Watch out; punk, techno, pop, punk, prog – it’s all up for grabs now.

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