Release Date: Sep 18, 2015
Record label: Sacred Bones
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Neo-Psychedelia, Noise-Rock
From the Sonoran Desert, this band, under the direction of guitarist-vocalist Ryan Rousseau, crosses the lines between metal, punk, and space rock. Imagine Hawkwind channeling Motörhead (who after all, shared Lemmy Kilmister as bassist). Rousseau’s vocals tend towards a thrash style, obscuring his message under lots of distortion, volume, and effects.
As the brightest headlamps exploring the New American Heavy Underground, the Arizona punks in Destruction Unit have always been louder than the sum of their constituent parts. The project started at the turn of the century as a way for frontman Ryan Rousseau to cool down between sweaty shows in Jay Reatard’s early live bands. But even then, when he was making gnarled home recordings influenced by gothy synth-pop and the krautrock icons in Faust, there was an ascendant spirit untamed and unburdened by the sickly sonics.
"Destruction Unit sacrificed their ears to make this album as loud of a statement as possible. Will you lend them yours?" For once, the grand statement in an album's liner notes is dead on the money -- this psychedelic assault squadron may begin 2015's Negative Feedback Resistor with two minutes of distant ambient sounds hovering over the horizon, but once "Disinfect" finally kicks in, this music sounds like the equivalent of being tossed headfirst into a deep pit filled with several dozen Marshall amps, all cranked to ten and bleeding feedback. Destruction Unit intend to use rock & roll as a weapon, and the blunt impact of Negative Feedback Resistor is towering -- even at a low volume, this album sounds crushingly loud and massive, with the guitars of Ryan Rousseau, J.
I was waiting for the Spring Street subway when the middle rail erupted with electric noise. It was rust scraped along rust, the rust of the rails and the rust of the weight-bearing train wheels. The ceilings were low and the walls were close, so the sound had no room to expand, no space to fade and dissolve. It was a genuine screech, and it occupied every ounce of my awareness.
No band makes a show of underground camaraderie like Destruction Unit. The group tends to invite friends on stage, uniting players from typically insular realms like hardcore, minimal synth, and metal in the service of further saturating its already dense, imposing performances. There’s a tagline for this, New American Heavy Underground, which you can find on t-shirts.
If it can be louder, and faster, and heavier: why not? Pregnant with sour psychedelic reverberation, Destruction Unit's Negative Feedback Resistor is a trip characterised less by depth, and more by alienation. It's not that the depth isn't there, it's just that the experience is multidimensional enough to bring forth a flatness; a sense of unity which discards dimensions. I, for one, welcome our alien sound overlords.