{Fri, 19 January, 2007}   Destroyer, Oh Boy!

Take two… Having completed the assignment with which I was tasked, but being among the select company that actually did make good, I have been drafted for a second disc: Destroyer’s Rubies. This, though, I don’t mind. Bejar’s latest non-pron entry is another disc that I actually bought this year. It is also one of the few that I have heard. & between Bejar & Nelly Furtado, I am up to my neck in the asymmetric recordings of Ibero-Canadians. (Portuguese people are hotter, though. Or so that cut-out of a Lusitania Air stewardess would have us believe.)

Onward! To the review.

 Unlike the album of previous blurbing, I did not go into my purchase & subsequent perusal of Rubies with much in the way of trepidation. I saw it ranked & reviewed on a frequent blog stop by two that I find most agreeable. The only question remaining, for me, then, was ‘would this disc be metal?’ I mean, the project goes by D-E-S-T-R-O-Y-E-R.

Assuredly, this is not metal. Better for it, too. The world has enough Hispano-thrash with Brujeria & Sepultura/Soulfly, thank you very much. That said, the hint of a combat booted past on the eponymous opener, with the martial drumming, was a nice nod to expectations-on-name-alone.

Quickly enough, then, the tempo moves into a sombre but unrelaxed pacing with lyrics regarding a go-it-alone posture in the wake of the ascent of a monied but unprincipled indie-rock class. Following that, “Your blood” & “European oils” complete a excellent opening triptypch, with the last’s “Goodbye to love” worthy solo (about two-thirds in?) climaxing the textured, flamenco-seeming guitar patter of the opening quarter.

The album lulls for a bit, though, on the next two cuts, but revives with “3000 flowers”, whose guitar heroics to open echo the Oils solo. The lyrics also regain some heft, with the exercise in incompatibility of “Dangerous woman… to a point” a particular stand-out, in that it defies the contemporary pop & indie convention of being weepy. It is to-the-point & reportorial, a metro section story, not a Livejournal harangue. (Lovely as the latter are, I’m sure.)

 At this, we reach the close of the album, another triptych that reminds me of the second Rentals album, though a slightly-more-loungy-rather-than-clubby rock sound. The first & third of the set also prominently feature priests, perchance indicative of a theme of remaining even-tempered & self-aware, as is the necessity of the buen pastor. Now, to hope that this album can serve to guide the course of independent music.

Final grade: B

Stand-out tracks: “European oils”; “A dangerous woman to a point”; “Priest’s knees”;”Watercolours in the ocean”.


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