Does It Offend You, Yeah? - You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into
Record Label: Virgin
Release Date: March 28, 2008
You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into attempts to be many things. All of which Does It Offend You, Yeah? mostly succeeds in doing. Instead of playing it safe, the band mixes and matches numerous genres into an album that could have turned out to be a confused mess, but instead sounds cohesive.
The album starts with 'Battle Royale', a dance song focusing on minimalism that slowly builds into a catchy dance groove. After the curious opening track, the album literally explodes into the second song. 'With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)' is an apocalyptic dance floor gem that keeps climbing in intensity until its dramatic climax. The song is obnoxious, catchy, and a little strange, but it is a good indicator on how fun this band can really be.
Going from one explosion to another, the listener is thrown into 'We Are Rockstars'; an instant classic. The dance-punk/electro house fusion is full of punch, vocoding (Daft Punk-like robot vocals), and cowbell. This song is setup as a dance song with rock elements, a formula that the band flip-flops between for the rest of the album.
After those three tracks of dance floor craziness, the mood calms with the fantastic synthpop that is 'Dawn of the Dead'. The song gives 80's synthpop new life with a more modern dance-punk touch (complete with steel drums), and is one of the best songs on the album.
Next up is the experimental 'Doomed Now'; a song that is primarily dance-punk with vocoding. The result is a unique track that has a very straightforward sound (almost a little too straightforward). It doesnt sound like it just happens to have vocoding, but instead makes the vocoded vocals an integral part of the song.
After the strange (yet completely awesome) instrumental 'Attack of the 60 Foot Lesbian Octopus', the album dishes out the obnoxious single 'Let's Make Out'. The song features vocals by Sebastien Grainger of the tragically now-disbanded Death From Above 1979. While the lyrics are simple and shallow, their delivery makes up for it. Grainger's vocals add the emotion needed for a song like this.
The mood takes a turn again with 'Being Bad Feels Pretty Good'. Despite the title, the song is not the least bit obnoxious in any way, and while catchy, it almost seems a little too safe. So by the time you expect the creativity to run out, 'Weird Science' delivers it full force. 'Weird Science' is weird in the best way. A dance tune with the most awesomely strange vocoding ideas I have ever heard (digital burps?!).
And just when you thought the madness is finally over, it is. The album's closer 'Epic Last Song' proves that when their synthesizers take a step back, underneath is a truly great rock band.
Overall the album has a distinctly 80's feel that feels genuine and fresh at the same time. Bringing something new to a genre that reached its peak two decades ago is no small feat. So while the album may not be perfect, it's an incredible debut for the band, one that I hope we'll be seeing much more of.