Please Just Dance Death
It’s funny how often hardcore punk, a style synonymous with flair, lacks energy. It’s a style designed for explosive live shows, but recorded albums can feel sterile. That’s surely not the problem with the furious debut from Norway’s IEatHeartAttacks. Please Just Dance Death (this trio certainly isn’t subtle) takes a big heap of British hardcore punk (think Palm Reader) and some Botchisms to the extreme, yet despite the noise and aggression, it’s always a surprisingly melodic listen. It’s easy to hear some similarities to fellow Nordic groups Blindside (in their earlier years), Refused (in their least experimental), and Kvelertak (their fist-in-the-air bravado).
The record doesn’t play out like a debut, with these nine songs surprisingly full of enough unique moments to tell them apart, without taking too deep a dip in quality. The relatively atmospheric “You Will Try To Escape” follows the nearly post-punk title track, with its frantic energy. The two best tracks are also the most glaringly melodic. “Drowning Is My New Favorite Thing” (clearly this is a perfect listen for tea time with your Grandma) has a bouncy little riff and features a truly glorious pseudo-chorus. “Refuge Tropicana”, with its call-and-response vocals will annihilate live, with its Billy Talent-style repetition and melodic lick.
Honestly, there’s very little to knock IEatHeartAttacks for on this impressive debut. The songs not mentioned see a slight dip in quality and memorability, but, for a first release, Please Just Dance Death finds the Nordic band trafficking in the type of furiously melodic hardcore punk that feels quite familiar yet full of enough earnest energy that it’s impossible not to appreciate. If this is their first round, the ceiling is high for these young punks.