Die! Die! Die! Promises Promises

New Zealand’s Die! Die! Die! have a formula to, well, die for: fast, angular guitars, nasally vocals, tightly wound rhythms and pop-leaning hooks. It’s the kind of thing Wire and other post-punk luminaries made sound so fresh and exciting a few decades ago. But unfortunately for the over-punctuated Die! Die! Die!, in 2008, this now-all-too-common formula can sometimes be less than thrilling. Nevertheless, on DDD’s sophomore effort, Promises, Promises, the trio make decent use of post-punk’s tried-and-true tactics. With Shayne Carter (Straitjacket Fits) behind the production wheel, the album discharges a lot energy, enthusiasm and old-fashioned noise, rarely slowing or losing momentum throughout its 13 tracks. And while the group throws a few good punches here and there, such as the Black Flag-tinted "Britomart Sunset” and the anthemic "Sideways Here We Come,” on a whole, Promises, Promises will likely sound a bit too routine for any long-time post-punkers. (S.A.F.)