Album Reviews

Album review: The Death Set – Michel Poiccard (Ninja Tune/Counter Records)

By | Published on Wednesday 23 February 2011

The Death Set

Created after the death of TDS co-founder Beau Velasco from a drug overdose, ‘Michel Poiccard’ is a somewhat befittingly messy record.

Along with Dananananaykroyd and Johnny Foreigner, you might want to think of TDS as ‘fight pop’, a slightly made up genre to be reckoned with. An energetic, raucous blip on the indie scene, this music is at once exciting and annoying, but never boring.

With that in mind, what’s messy about ‘Michel Poiccard’ doesn’t lie in its naturally given genre, but in its only partly successful attempts to escape from it. It’s a raw and emotional album, with a significant amount of depth in it for such a shallow breed of indie pop. With the help of XXXchange, Diplo and Spank Rock, the scattering, undeniably bratty sound of the band’s earlier work is reigned in and polished. Just.

Next single, ‘We Are Going Anywhere Man’ is actually a pretty lovely song, exhilarating and uplifting, not unlike the album’s counter highlight ‘Chew It Like A Gun Gum’. But, of course, a leopard will never change its spots and there are also still a load of brash, tantrumy songs about French girls who enjoy anal sex (in your dreams, gentlemen). However, some softness creeps through with ‘I Miss You Beau Velasco’, a gorgeous track, which owes a small nod to our friends The Radio Dept in its dreamy, textured layers of sound.

I don’t really like anything that’s labelled ‘uber cool’ – my nerdy little heart shrivels inside and I back away to more comfortable pastures – but I will always have a soft spot for the faux-geekiness of TDS, more so now with thanks to this fitting tribute to Velasco. TW

Physical release: 28 Feb