Hailing from a rather remote town in New Zealand, Die! Die! Die! have largely spent the last three years away from their hometown. Touring in support of groups like Blood Brothers, Wire, Slint, and Wolfmother, the young trio have made a name for themselves with a blistering and sometimes completely spastic live show. Their second album Promises, Promises captures a good portion of their frenetic energy, as they zip through thirteen snare-rifling pop-punk tracks in just under forty minutes.
"Blinding" kicks things off, and along with one or two other songs on the release might be among my favorite tracks I've heard in this genre since The Thermals dropped their last album. The former barrels out of the gate with a high-speed rhythm section, and finds singer Andrew Wilson adding his wild and excitable vocals. "Death To The Last Romantic" is another gem, again keeping the pace intense while shaking things up a bit with a hiccuping beat and some rancid guitar passages that sound like the recording tape is falling apart.
Essentially, Die! Die! Die! does what any great pop-punk trio does in that they manage to mix things up musically while letting their fearless singer get a bit wild. Nothing is particularly groundbreaking, but as with most releases of this sort it comes down to a lot of very small distinctions (including sheer chutzpah), most of which this group from the other country down under seems to nail. It's not quite as poppy as the aforementioned work by The Thermals, but at the same time Promises, Promises isn't straight-up punk either (at least, in the traditional sense). It's fun stuff, and I imagine their live show would be even better.