You Say Party! We Say Die! Lose All Time

[Paper Bag; 2007]

Rating: 2/5

Styles: new wave, dance-punk
Others: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Le Tigre, The Liars

Welcome to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada’s seaside metropolis. Live like the locals do: baffle at the incessant rain, marvel at its low-pressure fronts from the Pacific, wade through the glacial discomfort of its wet winters, and experience its indie music scene cursed by the mighty hand of Poseidon himself to wallow in a depthless pool of new-wave revivalism. Following their debut Hit the Floor!, Vancouver band You Say Party! We Say Die! now attempt to exchange their past dance-punk formula for something more mature. Unfortunately, the result is effectively a less enthusiastic reiteration of their previous album.

When Hit the Floor debuted, You Say Party situated themselves at the tail end of the dance-punk movement, consistently inching further away from the height of the genre that had experienced its climax and had already begun to wane. Now, the age-old question of how exactly a band should reinvent themselves after their debut is answered with You Say Party's follow-up album Lose All Time: You don't. Essentially recreating the dance-punk fundamentalism they had adhered to two years earlier, You Say Party are treating their second album as an elaborate exercise in resuscitating the exuberance of an outmoded genre at the most inopportune time possible.

This is great news for die-hard fans, however. Lose All Time is so stylistically similar to Hit the Floor that it could be mistaken as a continuation of this album or even as a studio re-working of previous songs. Audible in both albums are a few perpetual and common factors: the hi-hat infused tempo which thrashes away with the same level of ferocity in each song, the acidic chord riffs, the channeled vocal histrionics of Karen O.

But the crux of Lose All Time is that of opposing ideas. On the one hand, they follow a strict orthodoxy of pure party-based dance punk; on the other, they oppose this by adding the stylistic veneer of sombre new wave. Admittedly, this is a preposterous fusion to begin with. By simultaneously countering soporific, interdependent harmonies, dark, echo-laden layered guitars, and distant, wailing organs of The Smiths-era of new wave with feverish party rock of dance punk, what is left is an archive of trends rather than songs. That, and a fairly dull party.

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