DESTROYER Destroyers Rubies (Merge)
Destroyer is the main outlet for the talents of Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Daniel Bejar (hes also a member of indie supergroups The New Pornographers and Swan Lake); as the cover sticker helpfully clarifies, Destroyer is a band. This is the new Destroyer album..
Straying from the facts, or maybe not, its also brilliant. Ramshackle, like Pavement backing Neil Young, its also clever, in a good way, the lyrics either tightly knitted together with conceptual continuity or a post-modern spin on the delicious nonsense Dylan was spouting round about Blonde On Blonde. Test drive the de facto nine minute title track Rubies to see what I mean: itll either register as pretentious claptrap or an absurdly exhilarating freefall through rock history. Its a rare album that gets me grinning within seconds of first hearing it, but Destroyers Rubies plays like a thrilling jousting match from the off. Bejar doesnt shy away from gently ribbing the hipper-than-thou community he might be presumed to be a part of (Its just your precious American Underground/And it is born of wealth), and how can any one of us fail to fall for the line Those who love Zeppelin will soon betray Floyd? Watercolours Into The Oceans opening salvo Listening to Strawberry Wine for the 131st time, it was 1987 gets me thinking that Destroyers music is the sound of The Band carousing with Talking Heads. Built from standard issue rock n roll instrumentation, its sonic honesty and wonderfully deep, liquid production sugar the albums more obtuse and abstract moments.
If the remaining nine tracks are inevitably destined to be relegated to footnote status trailing the sustained outpouring of molten genius that constitutes Rubies, theyre entertaining enough with it, from the swinging Your Blood (I went for you in military times and, then, I waited well into the 2300s) to 3000 Flowers, its guitar sound so textured you can practically taste it. Its a rare album thats so consistently intellectually and musically nourishing Joanna Newsoms Ys and Sufjan Stevens Illinois are perhaps its only recent peers in that regard - and if you like your indie guitar rock twisted with wicked, lacerating humour its Bejars bandwagon you should be chasing.