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Destroyer - ken (Album Review)

Thursday, 26 October 2017 Written by Jacob Brookman

Dan Bejar and Destroyer have been releasing music since the mid ‘90s and their latest record, ‘ken’ is their 12th studio album. It’s named after the working title of Suede’s 1994 hit The Wild Ones, a song Bejar has described as “one of the great English-language ballads of the last 100 years”.

The album is essentially a case study in late ‘80s British indie, with patient, hanging chords and grungy singing placed alongside post-punk synths, ambient drums and vintage, doom-laden guitars.

The lyrics certainly have the defiant humour that longtime Destroyer fans will know and love, with Bejar presenting a vivid feeling of place and time: “Give up acting? Fuck no! / I'm just starting to get the good parts / Walk into a room and everything clicks.”

Bejar has said that he was “thinking about the last few years of the Thatcher era” when making the record, and there is a tangible, bitter nostalgia here, with characters and concepts emerging from dark, watery melodies. The songs themselves act as a bit of a roll call for bands of the era.

Tinseltown Swimming in Blood evokes New Order with it’s tubey guitar riff and straight-cut rhythm, while In The Morning feels like a lost Echo and the Bunnymen track. There is also Cover from the Sun, which feels half way between the Manic Street Preachers and Cast, while Ivory Coast’s spidery guitars and chugging synths recall OMD.

The standout track, though, is the immaculately written Stay Lost. This song - which feels inspired by the Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Darklands’ album - is a magical paean to abandonment. Its lyrics arrive with withdrawn, forlorn precision, as if sung to you by some ghost of a Mancunian Withnail. “Stay lost,” he says. “Being alone's an illusion.” Incredibly evocative.

Destroyer Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu November 30 2017 - BRIGHTON Patterns
Fri December 01 2017 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Sun December 03 2017 - DUBLIN Button Factory
Mon December 04 2017 - MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
Tue December 05 2017 - GLASGOW CCA
Wed December 06 2017 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny
Thu December 07 2017 - LONDON Scala

Click here to compare & buy Destroyer Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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