A few years ago, when they released their debut recording, We Are From Nowhere, DDM were known as Dance Disaster Movement. I can’t find any evidence of a good reason for this change, however. The chances of there being another Dance Disaster Movement would seem slim to none. Yet, the name is changed. So they should be a whole new band now, right? Well, it’s the same two guys making the music — Kevin Litrow and Matt Howze. The music, as well, doesn’t seem that different, as the duo still utilizes analog synthesizers and drum machines to create noisy, yet dancey chaos-scapes.
Snow on the TV, the band’s new seven-song mini-album is a little less accessible than We Are From Nowhere. The danceability is no longer as prevalent here, as noise and tribal textures have been added to their machine rock. Sounding a lot like their Southland peers, Kill Me Tomorrow, DDM have embraced an entirely new bizarre type of punk rock that is more jarring than accessible, more like performance art than actual songs.
“Get Back on That Starting Line” has all of the elements of before, but put together oddly. Drum machines pop and flex, as Litrow shouts the song’s title maniacally. Organs buzz while a “Fly Like an Eagle” sounding synth flutters about in the foreground. “Turn On `On'” is a little more like the DDM of old, as the song drones into more of a typical song structure, beats circling back to their original starting point and melodies finding their way through the haze of distortion and feedback. “Hello,” however, is more minimalist, as a sole synth rumbles under malfunctioning robot sounds and Litrow’s shouted delivery.
“Pulse” is where the band is at their peak, with Howze playing a near-industrial drum beat under abrasive samples and Litrow’s typical frantic screaming. The odd syncopation makes for very erratic dancing, if any, but the song is a crazy noise dirge that appeals to those with a penchant for the dissonant.
The new incarnation of DDM isn’t too much different than before, it’s just a lot noisier. Maybe the name just didn’t make a whole lot of sense, though, as Snow on the TV is more disaster than dance or movement. But, of course, I mean that in the best way.
Liars – They Were Wrong, So We Drowned
Numbers – In My Mind All the Time
Kill Me Tomorrow – The Garbageman and the Prostitute
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.