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I Name You Destroyer
Velocette Records

Not quite Sonic Youth. Not quite Lush. Not Quite Curve. Not quite Magnapop. Not quite Sky Cries Mary. Not quite Liz Phair. Not quite My Bloody Valentine. Not quite Stereolab. Not quite Veruca Salt. Not quite Belle And Sebastian. Not quite Babes In Toyland. Not quite Throwing Muses. Not quite Pixies.

But almost.

The album begins with a bit of "Little Fever", a droning melancholic tune that harkens back to the glory days of the noisepop/shoegaze era. There is feedback nicely controlled under fuzzed out guitars and slow moving drums, which covers nicely the haunting vocal track. "Amplifier" steps up the tempo a bit and begins to push the album into its more natural direction, redolent with noisy guitars and indie flavored keyboards; as well as the redundantly silly lyrics that tend to persist in the indie scene. "Pinned In Glass" breaks up the tempo a bit, stuttering back and forth from a driving rhythm to a collapsing Black Sabbath-esque chorus. I listened to "Queen B" once… and never again. This woman’s got a fantastic voice; I don’t understand why she would want to muck it up so badly. Heavy metal leftovers, I guess. "When She Goes Out" moves the record back into more listenable boundaries with an early Curve-like vibe. Doubled up harmony vocals and interesting melody lines sonically adorn the starkly driving bass and drums, and repetitive head-to-the-wall guitars. With a slower, almost Codeine tempo, "Torch" buries the beautiful voice of G. Amber Valentine beneath anguished layers of sound, mixed dangerously muddy in order to illustrate the song’s droning poignancy.

"Memphis" lays out some fantastic slowcore techno keyboard vibes, moving the song into an almost Chemical Brothers ambience, with its fantastic lo-fi drums and stark arrangement. The song pulls the listener in with its catastrophic changes in groove and substance. I will be ready when it’s time to take advantage, see I give up what I want to, and the rest belongs to me… begins the more Detroit rock sound of "Fight Song". But then the girl goes back to screaming and yelling. Hey… I liked Ministry, too, baby. Great lyrics, but some bad moments in rock. That seems to be the album’s subtitle at this point, as "Dissolver" makes its noisy points, whatever they might be, before slowing to a nice melancholy pace and resolving the chaos of the song’s beginnings. "Vulture Story" continues the heavier mood of the music, but trades away the screeching vocal yells for the breathy singing style once more. A welcome change to this very White Stripes sounding, feedback infused groove. Bongos? I’m a little perplexed by the use of alternate forms of percussion on a record like this, but I suppose it all turns out all right in the end. Interesting guitars and rhythmic devices make "Firefly" an interesting piece of interesting music. "Lazing" follows up the previous lo-fi experimentalism with some more jazzy, free form lyrical expressions over sparser and lighter arrangements. Still just as… interesting. Tossing aside the fundamentals of physics class, "Surface Tension" is a slower song, replete with the excellent drum tones found on the better songs of the record, and a rambling kind of squeezing-a-lot-of-words-into-a-small-space lyrical line. The band is very reminiscent of Magnapop at this point. Pushing an almost Nine Inch Nails sound from the speakers is "Undertow"; a complex song filled with counter rhythms and sweeping noise landscapes. It goes a bit too long (weighing in at about 6:30 minutes) for its structure, not holding interest in a productive listening way. Wavy guitars and smashing drums drive the importance of "Sea Blind" into the listener’s skull with an alacrity unsurpassed on the album. I would not have saved this Cakekitchen-like dirge for the end of the record, but rather thrown it closer to the beginning where it would be sure to get heard.

Overall the album is a pleasing listen, making me want to fight a bit at times, so it should be fairly easy for the punk rock kids to relate to, as well as the more avant-garde-indie-stereotypical-black-turtleneck type. Amazing that it only took two people to piece together a debut record of this depth and vitality. Another Curve similarity? I think so.

And remember, measure time in chemicals; I Name You Destroyer is an expression of love.

David DeVoe

Track Listing:

  1. Little Fever
  2. Amplifier
  3. Pinned In Glass
  4. Queen B
  5. When She Goes Out
  6. Torch
  7. Memphis
  8. Fight Song
  9. Dissolver
  10. Vulture Story
  11. Firefly
  12. Lazing
  13. Surface Tension
  14. Undertow
  15. Sea Blind

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