The second album from Chicago-based experimental band To Destroy a City, with nine stunning tracks of creative post-rock, ambient electronic awesomeness. Well worth the wait after their debut. Featuring Andrew Welch on drums/synths/programming, Jeff Anderson on both (guitar and keyboards, and Michael Marshall on guitar, a hedonistic blend of man and machine.
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- SUNLESS by To Destroy A City
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This album is presumably about the sun exploding, not the tabloid’s as-of-yet forthcoming dissolution. If I was in the tabloid business my smear campaign for it would carry the headline “Band Sounds A Lot Like 65daysofstatic”, which is actually also the whole truth about them: this screeching, propelling post-rock album has the same barbed drums, tinny electronic manoeuvres and stagnating climaxes. Their name is To Destroy A City, and their full-band apocalypse is a reminder that things, loudly.
To Destroy A City are excellent post-rock calibrators; their synthesis of electronics, iced guitars, idle piano chords and huge percussive climaxes is technically to die for, indicative of a band who know how to follow the quiet-loud dynamic with mechanical reflex. That said, they barely digress from it once; the first three songs all follow their well-laid plans to ruin, concluding in emotive crescendos from wailing ambient sheen and programmed drum malfunctions. Preambling and then post-rocking is all well and good, but the record only deviates into other strands of genre cliche, invoking a one-two-punch of ambiguous sample routine and lilting violin on “Escape/Return” before launching into a reverberating piano epic to rival spacemen Lights Out Asia.
There’s a two-pronged beauty to what To Destroy A City are doing (n.b. what they’re doing is, in fact, not destroying a city); their more minimalist ideas often grab the attention in the throes of widescreen guitar ‘n’ synth bluster, with twinkling effects in “First Light” radiating against their impression of the blank dot of space. What’s that thing that dude quotes in Interstellar? Don’t go gently into that thing and such? To Destroy A City should try being gentle more often, actually.
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