You Say Party! We Say Die! - Lose All Time
In global terms, Canada might be little more than an adjunct to the US, but in musical terms, those crafty Canucks have far surpassed the Yanks; The Arcade Fire, The Dears, et al, are all much better and more interesting than the thousand strong army of emo pouring out of America’s borders. You Say Party! We Say Die!, despite having an emo-esque name, purvey a bold sound that places them on a completely different plain artistically to the likes of Panic! At The Disco, and, while not quite managing to compare with Win Butler’s crew, certainly have something to offer to the same open-minded music fans who embraced The Fire’s multi-faceted sound.
It sounds a very young album, capturing a sort of brash hedonism and exhilaration that seems at times comparable to Bow Wow Wow (who could easily be imagined recording a song ‘Downtown Mayors Goodnight, Alley Kids Rule!’). Sonically, the band are not quite as adventurous as that comparison might imply (they make a big deal on their website about being a dance punk band, the sort of tag that was out of date about twenty seconds after it was coined in 2003) but there’s still a breadth of imagination in both their lyrics and their tunes that suggests they have the potential to go on to great things. Certain songs, like Teenage Hit Wonder, manage to sound quite sad despite the fury of Becky Ninkovic’s vocals and Derek Adam’s guitar work; at times they’re quite keen to confound expectations- for a self-professed dance punk band to call a quiet, piano driven track ‘Dancefloor Destroyer’ is a stroke of knowing genius, just as calling the second to last track on the album ‘You’re Almost There’ is.
That’s not to say that a sense of exhaustion sets in while listening to Lose All Time, though. Although few of the tracks really stand out on their own, it’s good to hear a band seizing upon such a distinctive sound with such gusto. What’s more, the final track, a long, burbling electronic instrumental called Quiet World, suggests that future releases could see YSP!WSD! going off in some very interesting and unexpected directions. Further proof (if it was needed) that there’s more to Canada than maple leaves, Mounties, bilingualism, liberal politics, and functional if uninspiring architecture.