The evidence: Look at the current crop of funk junkies scoring legions of fans. French duo Justice tour with massive Marshall stacks and a giant light-up cross that looks like it was lifted from the Holy Church of Gene Simmons. Ratatat proudly proclaims it used over 70 guitars on one song alone. Half of the Canadian duo MSTKRFT was once in a grinding punk band, and if you replaced all those gurgling synths with guitars, he could easily get the group back together. Same goes with Simian Mobile Disco. Hell, LCD Soundsystem is already there. And newbies Does it Offend You, Yeah?—well, the group didn’t dream of bringing back Big Beat. The group set its sights on something a little more snarling.
“Really, we wanted the band to be a mix of two of our favorite groups,” says guitarist Morgan Quaintance, “Prodigy and Rage Against the Machine.”
The thing is, he’s not kidding. While DIOYY does have a certain love for the cowbell—thus the Gang of Four thing—and certain tracks like “Being Bad Feels Pretty Good” bubble with enough Casio love to make Depeche Mode weep, the band really does flat-out rock. Sure, there’s no Che-inspired lyrics or pyrotechnic-sparking beats, but DIOYY’s debut You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into (Almost Gold) sounds as punishing as it does fun.
Like “Battle Royale.” While the first minute plods along, a keyboard pulsating while drummer Rob Bloomfield taps out a beat suitable for any Rapture fan, the instrumental quickly transforms into fist-pumping funk and the beats go all Tommy Lee. Noise swirls and stutters—pure Ministry at its most sample-driven. Then come the guitar harmonies and chunky chords. The only thing missing is a blast of orc-loving vocals. Or consider the appropriately titled “We Are Rockstars.” While the verses sprint straight for Daft Punk, complete with Vocoder vocals and swelling synthetic basslines, the bridge might as well come with a spiked wristband. “Let’s Make Out”: The hooks are pure candy pop; the riffs hard as granite. And “Weird Science”—well, between the distorted bass and squealing keyboards, the group samples someone barfing. That’s totally metal.
“This is what sounds interesting to us,” Quaintance says. “This whole mix of things: It gets us going. That’s what music is for.”
And that mix is sucking in gobs of fans. DIOYY is already a phenom back home in England, the Reading-based band scoring mounds of critical praise. The group is getting roughly the same response here, DIOYY’s tent-decimating set at last week’s Coachella festival sparked plenty of conversations. All of which has Quaintance a little confused. He’s not sure what all the hubbub is about, though he’s more than willing to go along for the ride.
“Yeah, I don’t really know why it’s working,” he says. “I guess I can understand why people like it if you come see us live. The show is pretty cool. But it’s baffling to me why we’re getting all this attention when I know some really good groups back home that aren’t getting any. The whole industry is a mystery to me, actually.”
Now, as for the Ministry, Depeche, Gang of Four thing, think about it. All three redefined dance music—even Jourgensen, who had his stint with industrial’s shimmy side before going all aggro. Combine the three—the intestine-twisting guitars of Ministry, the plastic hooks of Gahan et al, and those disco-loving beats straight from Gang of Four’s set list—and you’ve got a protoplasmic fluid that’s ripe to spark new, stadium-ready electro-rock that will get even Atreyu junkies headbanging along to the beat. Quaintance has seen it. “People go crazy when we play live,” he says. Even the ones who you’d least expect. You’re just going to have to trust me on this.
DOES IT OFFEND YOU, YEAH? w/ Yo Majesty @ The Urban Lounge, Friday May 9, 10 p.m. 24Tix.com