“The funky monkeys is coming!” screams a sample on the first single “The Monkeys Are Coming” from Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You, and it doesn’t get any more normal from there. Ranging from house to alternative (sometimes even in the same song), the dance-punk outfit Does It Offend You, Yeah? plays with a fervency that feels like a caffeine-fueled freakout punctuated by episodes of calmness. Sometimes sweet, sometimes intense and sometimes downright weird, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You always finds ways to surprise and entertain.
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You
Without a doubt, Don’t Say’s greatest attribute is its reckless and rewarding tracklist. For instance, the wonderfully excessive “John Hurt” goes big with booming drums and heavy riffs as singer James Rushent screams “Get out of my fucking way!” However, immediately after, “Pull Out My Insides” is almost tender in its vulnerabilit, and is more than accessible enough to make noise on the Top 40.
The variety doesn’t stop there: On “Wondering,” British rapper Trip overlays a vibrant synthesizer with lines like “I keep seeing Bill Hicks’s ghost / he says World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” The opening track “We Are the Dead,” begins with a soft, charming indie guitar, but morphs into a fist-pumping house beat.
The British natives break out to show their ability most in the more alternative-oriented tracks. While “Pull Out My Insides” could be the best song on the album, the concluding “Broken Arms” is forlorn but soothingly beautiful. It culminates the record with solemn reflection. And while it might clash with other tracks, it is nonetheless powerfully emotive.
Though the record boldly touches upon an almost innumerable amount of genres, it never feels like it’s spread too thin. Rushent’s voice is distinguishable enough to tie together the tracks that contain it, while certain guitar and synthesizer notes repeat throughout the album, giving it a sense of unity.
Admittedly, Don’t Say does bow slightly at its center — probably because of its core of house music — but it’s at this point where Does It Offend You, Yeah? shows off its immense creativity. Though the string of songs isn’t easy listening by any means, it seems like material typical of the clubs where young Britons go for abundant drugs and the late-night strangeness that follows. For instance, while it’s not exactly single-worthy, “The Monkeys Are Coming” actually makes a beat out of what would otherwise sound like a Barrel of Monkeys commercial, and happens to sample a popular Internet meme in the process.
With its sophomore release, Does It Offend You, Yeah? proves that the popularity of 2008’s You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into was entirely deserved. The band is clearly on an upward trend — their first U.S. headline tour was completely sold-out — and their newfound fame has accumulated opportunities to tour with the likes of Linkin Park and The Prodigy, among others. With their unique adeptness in a breadth of genres, Does It Offend You, Yeah? has many plausible paths from here, all of which are bright with potential.