released Feb 9th, 2010
from the album - There Is XXXX (Within My Heart)
YouTube - You Say Party ! We Say Die ! -There Is XXXX (Within My Heart)
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Blending punky guitars and new wave synths in much the same way as fellow early MTV revivalists the Epoxies or Controller.Controller, the Canadian five-piece You Say Party! We Say Die! leans more toward the dance-rock side of the equation; indeed, with their two female singers and prominent thumping beats, they occasionally come across as a Martha & the Muffins for the new millennium. You Say Party! We Say Die! was formed in late 2003 in the small border city of Abbotsford, British Columbia, by singer Becky Ninkovic, keyboardist Krista Loewen, and bassist Stephen O'Shea, friends looking for something to do indoors during the region's inhospitable winters. Adding drummer Bruce Dyck, guitarist Jason Nicholas, and second keyboardist Carissa Ropponen, You Say Party! We Say Die! began touring the western provinces and released their debut EP, Danskwad (pronounced "dance squad"), in 2004. A lineup shuffle saw Ropponen exit the band, leaving Loewen the sole keyboard player, while Nicholas and Dyck were replaced by Derek Adam and Devon Clifford, respectively. You Say Party! We Say Die! signed to the Vancouver indie label Sound Document Records in 2005, releasing their full-length debut album, Hit the Floor! (in keeping with the band name and album title, the song titles were liberally peppered with perky exclamation points), in the fall of that year. Two singles from the album, "You Did It!" and "The Gap Between the Rich and the Poor," were released on British indie labels in 2006 as You Say Party! We Say Die! toured Europe and North America. That October, after attempting to cross the border without proper visas, the band was banned from touring the States until 2011 and encouraged fans to write their congressman and sign an online petition. In March 2007, the group released their sophomore album, Lose All Time.
During the tour of Canada and Europe that followed the album's release, the group found themselves breaking apart, almost to the point where they disbanded. They found the inspiration to carry on during a successful 2008 tour of Japan and China and after some time spent getting their personal lives in order, regrouped to beging writing the songs that made up thier next album, 2010's XXXX.
You Say Party! We Say Die!’s third album, 2010’s XXXX, refines and slicks up their nervy, exuberant new wave pop sound, adding some darker emotions and a more introspective lyrical approach. Fans of the rambunctiousness their first two records dealt out may be a bit disappointed at first by the more professional sound, the smoother production, and the general tightening up, but they can’t deny that the band has written a very strong batch of songs, maybe some of their best. Besides, people grow and change, why shouldn’t bands have the same opportunity? The trick is to grow without jettisoning the things that made you worth listening to in the first place. You Say has done that on XXXX,, keeping the basic new wave-influenced sound of their first two records, but adding a new layer of emotion and drama that makes the group sound less like the good-time B-52's and more like X with a synthesizer, or Siouxsie & the Banshees with less black eyeshadow; in other words: fewer good-time dance tracks, more minor-key laments. If you can get on board with that, XXXX holds many charms. The lead vocals of Becky Ninkovic have grown richer and more powerful, it’s obvious right away on the first track, "There is XXXX (Within My Heart)" that her approach is going to be less shouty and more expressive. They blend with Krista Loewen’s backing (and co-lead) vocals perfectly all through the album, especially on the songs like "Dark Days" or the beautiful "Laura Palmer’s Prom" that rely on the vocal harmonies to deliver the emotional punch. While songs like the bubbling "Glory" show the band can still convincingly rock out, the songs that have more dynamics and a darker heart (like "Dark Days" or the wonderfully melancholy ballad "Heart of Gold") are the ones that stick. Though they may lose a few fans with their new sound, You Say Party! We Say Die! do a fine job of growing into a truly interesting band on XXXX.
1 There Is XXX (Within My Heart) Ninkovic 4:39
2 Glory Ninkovic 2:14
3 Dark Days Ninkovic 4:46
4 Cosmic Wanship Avengers Ninkovic 3:32
5 Lonely's Lunch Ninkovic 4:44
6 Make XXXX Ninkovic 4:00
7 Laura Palmer's Prom Ninkovic 4:44
8 She's Spoken For Ninkovic 3:48
9 XXXX/Loyality Ninkovic 3:24
10 Heart of Gold Loewen, Ninkovic 4:07