Destroy All Monsters CD review by Howard Wuelfing

Music Reviews
Destroy All Monsters CD review by Howard Wuelfing
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Apr 21, 2008, 04:47

Destroy All Monsters - Live In Tokyo
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DESTROY ALL MONSTERS Live in Tokyo and Osaka CD

Destroy All Monsters' Live in Tokyo and Osaka first and foremost presents a cute conundrum. This recording features an augmented version of the original line-up of this prescient Ann Arbor art-noise outfit, which is pretty entirely different from the personnel that most punkers and post-punkers are familiar with! The founding members issued a series of strange and disconcerting 7”ers on their own label and inspired their neighbors, the Fair Brothers, to form Half Japanese via performances in their kitchen and backyard (or something like that). Then the group's membership was summarily replaced by escapees from the Stooges & MC5, led by Virago Niagra and the aesthetic retooled into a punk-friendly streamlining of classic Detroit power-rock. Which in turn has nothing to do with this release now at hand!

Live is taken from 1996 concerts in Japan that reunited three original members with two able henchmen. The music performed hearkens back to the free form spontaneity of their mid 70's output well as logical evolutionary extensions wherefrom.

The album opens with a leisurely unfurling ambient haze of samples, synths and loops titled “Bruckner's Lonesome Horn.” With “Clear Day” the focus tightens and peels of guitar feedback soar o'er some nicely primal battery. As the CD proceeds, the resolution grows clearer, beats better defined and the writing and arranging becomes more and more pointed. By the time they render their cover of the Seeds' “900 Million People Daily All Making Love,” they deliver exultantly brutal, wall-shattering rock that Sonic Youth or vintage Swans would envy. They continue in this butt-kicking mode for the remainder of the proceedings, finally letting it all dissolve back into the lovely slush it began as.
It's a masterful presentation and frankly the rock part of it kicks ass harder than High on Fire and Mastadon combined. Incredible. [Compound Annex, 6047 Annan Way, Los Angeles CA 90042]

-Howard Wuelfing

AMAZON

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