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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Destroy All Monsters

Live in Tokyo & Osaka

Review by Gary Hill

With a band called “Destroy All Monsters” and a CD cover like that, what do you expect? - certainly not “pretty” music. Well, don’t worry, that’s not what you get. In fact, this is only progressive rock in terms of the fact that it has a lot in common with free form RIO music. In fact, much of this CD fits that format. This is definitely noisy music and definitely weird. Perhaps the strangest thing is that, weird as it is, I like it. It somehow captivates you.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bruckner's Lonesome Horn
So, you say you like ambient weirdness and tone poems? Then, Bucky, this is definitely for you. This is seven plus minutes of ambient space strangeness.
Clear Day
If you expected things to suddenly turn normal, think again. This is a spacey sort of thing that’s just a little more “song” like. We get singing that’s somewhere between a wailing ghost and Tibetan throat singing – with maybe a hint of Hawkwind thrown in. This is interlaced over the top of spacey wanderings. While it’s definitely odd and rather dissonant, I actually like it.
A Good Looking Corpse
This starts off like a noise fest with Tiny Tim singing over it. A false ending gives us a count up. Just when you think we’re about ready to launch into something new, it’s back to the stuff that came before.  The lyrics to this is all clichés like “He who dies with the most toys wins.” This segues into the next one.
You Can't Kill Kill
This track comes in with an almost metallic grind. It’s certainly far more “song” like than the previous ones. The vocals are sort of spoken over the top. This definitely feels like a punky take on Hawkwind-like music. We get a hardcore frantic grind thrown into this, too.

Cartoon Soundtrack
The sounds that start this are cartoon like, but this gives way to another noisy tone poem sort of journey.

900 Million People Daily All Making Love
The vocals here feel a bit like Elvis, but the music is more stripped down. This is actually far more song like. It actually has a chorus you can sing along with. Some of the overlayers on the later portions of this feel a bit like Hawkwind.

Train To Nowhere
This hard rocker has a couple sections of noise in the middle of it and dissolves into noisy space here and there.
In Memoriam John Fahey
Weird sound effects are mixed with bit of psychedelia in another tone poem kind of piece. This speeds up and slows down as they go along. We even get the sounds of guitars being tuned in this one. A weird throbbing sound enters later in the piece as psychedelic sounds weave across. Eventually that droning drops away and the psychedelic tones end it.
Four Skins
Weird sound effects give way to a drum solo. Then we get more strange noise to end things.

Blues Growl
Wow, this does growl – seriously. It’s a plodding growling piece of feedback laden noise.

The Cloud Of Don't-caring
This feels like a journey through the vast, odd, darkness of space.
Evil Works
Wow, this is just about metal, but still weird and noisy. It’s at least more song like than a lot of the other stuff.
Show No Shame
This is fast paced and loud noise oriented sounds. Odd as it is this feels musical in some weird way.

Indecipherable
More tone noise makes up the majority of this. Weird angles come and go. It turns almost symphonic in a soundtrack pounding sort of way for a while.
Kill Kill (Slight Return)
As you might guess we get a variation on “You Can’t Kill Kill.”

Tomorrow Interruptus
A full jazz arrangement brings this in and holds it for a while in the most purely musical approach of the CD. Around the one minute mark this ends and gives way to silence for a time. Then we get a “whee” and a reprise of the jazz sounds. The track works back down to space and then a reprise of the jazz elements – it’s a Beatles song as far as melody, I think, but I can’t place what song. This pattern is repeated for the length of the piece.
Coda (For Bertoia)
This noisy space feels quite a bit like Hawkwind, but also very RIO in nature. It’s noisy and quite a bit like sounds you might hear in a science fiction film.
 
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