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Die! Die! Die!: Promises Promises

Even if its music sucked, you'd have to hand it to Die! Die! Die! At a time when dull, toothless indie bands use tough-sounding names and exclamation points with unabashed irony, the New Zealand trio truly struts like it wants listeners to drop stone dead. Thankfully, Die! Die! Die! doesn't suck in the least, though its sophomore disc, Promises Promises, is a bit of comedown from its raging self-titled debut. The short, sharp shit-kicking has softened, and the hooks now tug rather than yank. "Sideways Here We Come" offers post-punk at its 21st-century finest: Half Mclusky, half Warsaw-era Joy Division, it crams splinters of rhythm into dark, gorgeous choruses and acidic shout-alongs. The venom is still there, and it's just as potent, but it tastes a little sweeter this time around.


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