It really is a shame that the members of England’s Does It Offend You, Yeah? have dug themselves in a hole, sight unseen, based on that completely obnoxious name. To compensate for that ridiculous name, the four-piece is in dire need of music that indicates not only that they’re in on the joke, but also that they were clever enough to come up with the joke in the first place. But they’re not, at least as far as I can tell. They seems to be legitimately trying to be a convincing new-rave band. You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into is a batch of dance/rock hybrid songs that touch on every dowdy cliché associated with both dance and indie music.
One listen and it’s clear that the band members familiarized themselves with all of the right records: early-2000s DFA, the Daft Punk discography and, most important, the current brand of tech house that Justice and Matthew Dear and others have made accessible to indie rock ears. The lesson they learned: pilfer the most poppy aspects and turn your back on the compositional nuances that are the backbone of any successful song.
“Let’s Make Out” is “House of Jealous Lovers” without any sense of subtlety, likeability, or attention to sonic detail. For “Weird Science” and “Doomed Now,” the group brings out dance music’s favorite accessory, the vocoder, and stomps through cliché after cliché in a terrible Daft Punk ripoff.
Oddly, the best tracks are the three on which Does It Offend You, Yeah? forget about all the dancing and focus on crafting some alt-rock anthems. On “Dawn of the Dead,” “Being Bad Feels Pretty Good,” and “Epic Last Song,” the group temporarily sidesteps most of the electronics (the 4/4 live drum and keyboard remain) and try to woo NME as a bonafide “Next Big Thing.” They’re the most enjoyable of the set, both in terms of their staying power and credibility.
You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into is not a record to take seriously, and I suppose on some level it succeeds in reveling in that, even if it wasn’t the intention of the band. But they have shown the potential to create a great song — if they can pry themselves away from the sticky banalities they seem entangled in.