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The Audio PhilesDestroyer: Kaputt / Esben and The Witch: Violet Cries
POSTED BY TERENCE NUZUM, February 11, 2011    Share

Destroyer: Kaputt- 2006's Destroyer's Rubies proudly announced on the CD cover "Destroyer is a band" a move that seemed calculated after years of frontman Dan Bejar simply using Destroyer as a solo acoustic project. All those years with The New Pornographers must've rubbed off on him and gave him the indie-rock star bug because five years later Destroyer is still a band. 2008's Trouble in Dreams still could not have foreshadowed the direction Bejar takes on Kaputt. The tagline should read: "Destroyer is a band...and they have contradicting influences". It's an ode to 80's coke rock that covers all spectrums of the white powder's victims from the mainstream Hall and Oates sax on some tracks to the sugary insane acoustic guitars, watery electric guitar and zany sax of Blue Sunshine, The Top, Head On The Door era Robert Smith. Not at all as schmaltzy as Darryl Hall and nowhere near as alternative as "The Caterpillar" it manages a bizarre balance of mainstream meets alternative 80's nose powder rock. Which makes for a great listen. Not likely to awaken your younger brother to the genius of Bejar or make your dad look beyond his stale catalogue of Steely Dan albums, but for indie-rock fans it's one more notch for an already amazing band.

Esben and The Witch: Violet Cries- An atmospheric stab at dissonance with a dose of angular guitars and wailing female vocals. No, it's not a Siouxsie and the Banshees record but it might as well be. Taking cues from the very early post-punk scene that spawned Joy Division, Siouxsie and countless other bands that eventually morphed into goth, Violet Cries is an album of no explanations. The band doesn't ask you to accept that they don't sound entirely original, just that this is what they are. Take it or leave it. Me? I'll stick with it, all the while trying to figure out if I really love a band that can emulate Siouxsie and the Banshees with Cocteau Twins atmosphere without any guilt or if I want to dismiss such shameless unoriginality. One listen to the first track I guarantee will leave you with no easy answers. Maybe sometimes it's just best to go with the flow.

"The Audio Philes" is ©2011 by Terence Nuzum. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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