Music Reviews
Destroyer's Rubies

Destroyer Destroyer's Rubies

(Merge) Rating - 9/10

Destroyer has always walked with an air of contempt for the music industry. But with the release of Rubies, it seems he can no longer exempt himself as a pundit beyond his wrath. The people at Merge seem to have taken his modesty into their own hands, marketing the new cover with a disclaimer sticker that exclaims: "Destroyer is a band. This is the new Destroyer album." With the public being spoon fed such explicit declarations, it will be no time before the metal kids stop accidentally stumbling over him, leaving confused pleas on their blogs: "Anyone heard the ballads of this sick fuck?"

The man's post-modern soliloquies are becoming a pastime, and not just for the gentlewoman who has "Destroyer" tattooed on her jeans, too. Straight from the first thorny chord and impetuous call of "Dueling cyclones jackknife!" that throws the gate open on Rubies, it is clear we are witnessing another Destroyer album (embedded in a battle of natural disasters and homicide).

'Rubies', the first track and album rampart of a nine minute and 25 second expanse, comes off like Monty Python signed to Merge. It toys with crescendos reminiscent of Notorious Lightning, pouring amidst folkloric dual tempo acoustics, marching sounds of prestigious battle calls and an array of horse hoofed gallops. It ends with an illustrious interlude, pulling over on the side of the road next to Bohemian Rhapsody as though to say, "Have you ever looked at it like this, boys?"

It's always revitalizing to hear Dan fooling around with conventional structure, finger painting all over it and bringing it back with neo-ebullience. He layers his convictions on top like a werewolf of gumption, while in actuality, his ego sits at home on an arm chair and knits.

Rubies, in the way Bejar seems to say these kinds of things, proves to contend and embrace stadium rock circa '73. What affixes his horse drawn carriage to victory is the way he romances his allusions to make his parodies drip like wine. For instance, the subtle sounding ballad 'A Dangerous Woman Up to a Point' is essentially one biting, caustic, hyperbole of a character meddling with man. Here he uses his finger pointing trickery to lyrically slay Rod Stewart in a slow-dance sway of disregard.

As for musical connotation, the majestic kick start of 'Your Blood' comes in like one of Elton John's greatest ragtime suites (who doesn't have a place in their heart for Madman Across the Water?) Its frolicking piano parades all the way through 'European Oils', both tracks sporadically torn apart by Dylanesque conviction, a rejoice for the lost duet the men never played together. After ostentatiously ranting "Her father, the fucking maniac", ego-pitched fret(ful) madness ensues; candidly referred to as a "monster riff" by the liner notes.

As for the most prestigious realm of classic rock, Dan brings us back with what appears to be a tribute to shrewd Zeppelin blues reinvention with 'Sick Priest Learns to Last Forever'. Despite that they're all going to hell, Zeppelin's more plagiarized moments can be notorious good thing, and this track can bring back the warm nostalgia of adolescence music discovery in all of us. With all the thick embodiment of your conventional three-piece, the track is topped with tambourine, sax and piano before it rushes into a whirring soundscape of self-destruction.

Although stuffed full of requisition, the record will often trick you with its whimsical fronts. 'Looter's Foolies' and 'Painter in Your Pocket' provided visions of dancing through the streets at midnight, taking every note like wind into an a-line skirt of vast musical hyperbole. '3000 Flowers' is so imperial, it somehow curves Bejar's vocals towards the epic disarray of Ian Curtis before pouring the energy back into a power-cleansing, end of the apocalypse, riff that Saves the World. This track is surely the two-faced moniker for madness, as it falls once again with wa-wa tones of despondency.

Rubies is that kind of cathartic exhaustion, unraveling throughout the album with more allusions and lyrical pasts than any of us will catch in the first twenty listens. Here inside this pink plushy work, this stadium sized blister of rock perfection, this pristine achievement of musical synthesis and epic intention - is everything you need to begin your tax-deductible Destroyer autopsy.