Guest Post: Destroyer

Dan Bejar of Destroyer says:
Vancouver band, changed their name to Copyright after this album, but here they are called Circle C ("c' inside a circle symbol, maybe this was part of their problem)… So is the album…  Was maybe deleted by Geffen before it even came out, apparently the man (DG) himself personally hated this band’s guts… Urban Vancouver legends abound: physical altercations in head office, massive advances blown on really hard drugs, stuff like that… Who knows what’s true, anyway that’s not why this record is cool, though I really like how cool those stories are…

Produced by John Porter who has deep Roxy Music roots, as well as producing big UK 80s bands (The Smiths, The Alarm)… The whole thing sounds how I imagine a wrestling match between a fancy producer, a giant record label, and a weirdo band is supposed to end up sounding, each party trying to constantly fool the other… The results, a record with no underground appeal and no commercial appeal… Just starting to really get into it now, at the time (early 90s) I was way too into british shoegaze and amerindie sounds to understand this kind of complicated music and singing… The band also had a lot of attitude, and not in the Pavement kind of way that I could relate to at the time…

Partly born of a group called Slow who invented grunge music in the mid-80s, the lead singer and lead guitar player I assume grew bored with that genre by their late teens (seems only right and natural) and started playing more of this acoustic-based, stonesy prog music with way-buried dark poetry accompaniment… Romantic and doomed, brainy but really strung out, a side of the pacific northwest seldomly portrayed this way… This stuff isn’t as eulogized as Slow, it’s way more meandering and druggy, goats head soup but more aggro and lyrical with a ton more chord/time changes and a thin needly production style that could just be the fidelity of CDs back then, not sure… Weird instrumentation, a mix of horns, Latin American-sounding El Condor Pasa-style mandolins, string quartets, all used for the purpose of hard rock (?)… Really clean guitars that don’t necessarily chime, but also lotsa chorus and wah… questionable shit that for some reason really draws me in here…  The least warm sounding acoustic guitars possible… it's completely antithetical to the Albini production-style that would dominate the rest of the decade in rock, mainstream and non-mainstream alike (same shit)… Aside from the vocal levels, which are infuriatingly and very deliberately buried and distant, except for maybe a couple of the really dandy-ish acoustic numbers on side 2… The lyrics from beginning to end are really cool, delivered with conviction and flair, a lot of cooing, a lot of strangled hollering, usually in the same 4 bars… People don’t talk about it too much, but this brand of eccentric did not fly in America 20 years ago… More of an English thing, but these guys weren’t, so they were fucked…

MP3: Circle C: "Dust"

MP3: Circle C: "Odette"

Tags: destroyer, guest posts, guest artists, audio

Posted by alteredzones on 12/15/2010 at noon.

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