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A Magazine for Sheffield

Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap

Remember 'Agadoo'? Remember the inherent meaning encapsulated within its ethereal beauty and how it spoke of a time more conflicted, of a people more disheartened by the very essence of their culture? Of course you don't, because it was about harassing a pineapple.

Songs about nothing generally hold about as much gravity as a helium filled effigy of X Factor's Cher Lloyd. It would seem that pure enthusiasm and aggressive conviction dilute novelty rather well. Imagine Black Lace in torn off denim/leather ensembles, screaming of a 'hula melody' while spitting on an adoring Wolverhampton crowd, and the whole idea of fruit abuse becomes a little more subversive.

'Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap' by Brooklyn/Baltimore-based punk electronica outfit The Death Set is testament to that ethos. Couple that with outstanding beats from Spank Rock producer XXXChange, and a little ditty about an über cool Brooklyn handshake becomes a two-minute paradoxical tour de force.

Clattering drums, androgynous screaming and more top end than you could shake a rack of compressors at coalesce with XXXChange's penchant for squelchy basslines and vocal stuttering superbly. Everything advances with such a frantic sense of urgency that the abrupt closure at 1:57 seems so untimely it warrants an immediate re-listen.

The single provides two B-sides in the form of surprisingly uplifting, 'bliss punk' offering 'Been Too Long', and an aggressive re-working of the already well-received Diplo collaboration, 'Yo David Chase! You P.O.V Shot Me In The Head'. The latter steps away from Diplo's droning synth funk to make room for neo punk sounds to come windmilling through like Sid Vicious in a space helmet and hi tops. The departure from the twee, glittery, hardcore-flavoured pop of their first full length release Worldwide isn't overtly striking, but it lends enough depth to their sound to gain them a deservedly larger fan base.

Combine the fact the single clocks in at a frustratingly short six minutes with the knowledge that the next LP, Michel Poiccard, is set to be released way into the murky future of March 2011, and it's going to be a distinct struggle to keep The Death Set as current as they should be.

It is, however, going to be more of a struggle to get over having to listen to 'Agadoo' to write this. That's three minutes I'll never get back.