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Album Review: IEatHeartAttacks - 'Please Just Dance Death'

19 February 2017 | 1:28 am | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

These Norwegians are fucking crazy, man.

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So. Before we go balls deep with this one, I have three questions for you, dear reader.

  • Are you looking for something that’s both vicious and abrasive in its delivery?
  • Do you feel the need for some darkness and dissonance in your life?
  • Or are you perhaps simply yearning for something that is as musically heavy as it is emotionally intense?

Well, if you answered ‘yes’ to either of or all three of those questions then it's a safe bet that you will adore ‘Please Just Dance Death’, the new full-length album from Norwegian trio, IEatHeartAttacks. These guys - Erik Fossmo and brothers Jompi and Noppers Myren, all of whom share vocal duties - play a brand of dark, melodically tinged hardcore that I just love to no fucking end!

'Please Just Dance Death' is nine songs of abrasive, jagged hardcore, all spread over a short but brutally sweet 20 minutes with the occasional melodic, nuanced moment for good measure. The dissonant guitar melodies and the thrashy, distorted riffs (see: 'Black Hearts') the thunderous, brisk drumming (see: every song) and the scathing cutthroat vocals (see: again, every song) are what make up this trio’s instrumentation with nothing else getting in the way of their sonic onslaught. There's no clean singing, no synthesisers, no choral or orchestral moments, no audio samples ripped from some cult flick; there's no bullshit here, people. This is the sound of three guys creating beautiful noise together that sound like each member is in the middle of a glorious battle with their instruments, as well as their own lungs.

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What also works in favour of this record apart from the band's actual performances, is its sonic quality. It nails a fine balance between necessary sonic polish yet also sounding purely genuine - like a real band is playing right in front of you. All without falling into the depths of subpar demo recordings that get hit with the old age-old phrases of "raw" or "recorded on a potato" (that's my personal favourite.)

[caption id="attachment_1090401" align="alignnone" width="760"]Ieatheartattacks IEatHeartAttacks; bad name, great music.[/caption]

Now, look, these three dudes are not an original band by any stretch of the human imagination nor is this latest album an upheaval of the engrained foundations of hardcore and heavy music. However, they take a sound done by many other bands, dress it up under their own moniker, and they do it very fucking well. Furthermore, you can feel the heart and authentic catharsis in their vocals, which is also present at the core of IEatHeartAttacks blistering music; music that was seemingly written without any sonic or thematic compromise, no less.

'Please Just Dance Death' as a whole also speaks to the importance of brevity. Out of the album's nine songs, only two pass the three-minute mark and even then, only by mere seconds. When it comes to those two songs - the immense 'Two-Step' (which you couldn't actually two-step to) and TDEP-like standout 'You Will Try To Escape' - are just as long as they need to be. Whether the band are diving into sections of pummeling drum patterns and cacophonous guitars on 'Liar' or 'Drowning Is My New Favourite Thing' for instance, or when they're flexing their melancholic muscles of melodic nuance like on 'M.I.A.', it all never fails to disappoint.

Finally, there is a rather bleak tone that underpins this whole record and it's something that I also felt with Germany's FJØRT, and their exceptional album, 'Kontakt'. Maybe it's due to the harsh winters and cold coastal Atlantic winds that batter Norway, that nation's interesting yet dark history with extreme music, or simply the upbringing and musical tastes of the band's three members (perhaps all of the above?), the timbre of this crushing album is indeed a product of its own environment. These external factors, whether they be intentional or not, really help to shape IEatHeartAttacks sound for the better... and it's a sound that you need in your life.

IEatHeartAttacks make music that will save us all. It is hardcore bands like this that are leaving their North American, Australian and UK counterparts for dead. For me, 'Please Just Dance Death' is the hardcore record to beat in 2017.

1. Liar

2. The Six

3. Refuge Tropicana

4. M.I.A.

5. Two-Step

6. Drowning Is My New Favourite Thing

7. Please Just Dance Death

8. You Will Try To Escape

9. Black Hearts

'Please Just Dance Death' is out now. Go and buy that shit here. Thank me later. Cheers.