(3 out of 5)
Electroclash seems like something that happened several lifetimes ago, but it was just a few years ago, right? Well why, then, does the new record from the Death Set – one which shamelessly riffs on electroclash’s goofy mash-up of rockist attitude and driving synths – sound even more dated than that? Perhaps it’s because this Baltimore-via-Australia crew is reaching back even further, and tacking the mid-’90s aggression of Atari Teenage Riot onto the electroclash blueprint, and adding a dollop or two of that era’s mainstream alt-pop (a la Weezer) as well. Yet, while occasionally dated, the sound of MICHEL POICCARD is an undeniable joy. As the band has evidenced with their cathartic, crowd-pleasing live shows, pure energy – if not originality – is the fundamental ingredient in the Death Set’s recipe, and MICHEL POICCARD is relentlessly energetic. Only occasionally pausing with interludes just long enough for the listener to catch their breath, the album blazes through danceable, riot-ready numbers that are either about the world coming to an end, the ridiculous party that they’re having, or both. This is punk delivered with a wink and a dance beat; and while it’s not the most original approach, at least the band has good taste in influences.