Tag Archives: 16 horsepower

Destroyer “Poison Season”


Poison Season

[Merge; 2015]

Rating: 8.5

As I stood in line waiting to get into the Destroyer show at Fine Line Music Café in downtown Minneapolis, a couple of women in front of me turned around and asked, “So who do you think Dan Bejar sounds more like: Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen?” I hesitated to respond, jumping back and forth in my mind between the luminary songwriters. It’s probably a mix of both yet neither at all. As this episode revealed, it’s hard to define Dan Bejar’s work, a strange combination of a snarky stand-up comedian, mocking everything around him, and a poet, taking the nuances of life and revealing their frailty through insightful and distinctive metaphors.

My confusion continued an hour later as Destroyer and his six-man band came out. As smoke machines began masking the band and the stage, the guys standing in front of me began laughing maniacally, feeling they were in on Bejar’s apparent joke. No self-respecting artist would use the dated stage theatrics of a 20 dollar smoke machine unless it was for satirical purposes, right? Therein lies the uncertainty of Destroyer – is his music meant to be taken seriously or is it all one big joke that only the most skeptical of listeners are in on?

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Top Albums of the Year 2000 (30-21)

30. Entombed – Uprising

True Entombed fans are probably the faction who prefer their earlier, more brutal death metal albums.  This one is often referred to as “death ‘n’ roll.”  Ha ha, I usually hate lame made up genres (even though I am more guilty of it than most) but this one really fits and it’s kinda funny.  I started with Uprising, maybe that is why I tolerate the slower tempos and yelled (rather than growled) vocals.  Definitely not a sellout ploy, it is still WAY too brutal for MTV or the radio (although not in a perfect world).  One of my top metal albums of the 00s.  I like walking the dogs while listening to it; it makes everyday activities like that seem badass.  – Ho Chi Unser Jr.

29. 16 Horsepower – Secret South

How’s this for another made up genre: post-rock Americana.  I don’t know what to

call it, but it is brooding and one is jolted into the realization that hell is a mother fucken real place.  And we all might end up there.  No one knew banjos, violins, organs, bandoneons, and stand up basses could be so heavy and ominous. — Pthestudp

28. Mountain Goats – The Coroner’s Gambit: or Slavonic Dances if you prefer

John Darnielle disagrees with Android50 about the Bible being punch-lineless.  I’ll tell you that right now.  In “Jaipur”, after he gets done singing about sugar pastries cooked in clarified butter, he tells the story of being sold to evil men by his brothers.  An obvious Joseph reference and a definite a “punch line.”  But even though they would disagree on that topic, this is exactly the type of album Android50 pines for from the Mountain Goats: lo-fi songs with hilarious and often poignant lyrics.   He sings about blood running through the streets of Rome, growing a garden, having no money or sense, going to Canada with a Tolstoy quoting woman, divorce, suicide, death and the afterlife.  In fact, he is really the only person I want to hear sing about the latter three. And of course maybe my favorite lyrics ever: “bag full of oily rags, fifty cent lighter/dreams of retirement in Cancun burning ever brighter/there’s a lot of ways to make money in this world/but I can’t recommend insurance fraud.”  But even though he is probably the only lyricist the last fifteen years who can give Bill Callahan a run for his money, you really can’t get it off of a page.  You have to hear the demagogue himself preach it from his pulpit on high.  – Kid Kilowatt

27. Microphones – It Was Hot We Stayed In the Water*

No one should have been too surprised by the black metalness of 2009’s Wind’s Poem. First of all Phil Elverum hasn’t been too secretive about his love of the dark metal and secondly his music never really has been too far removed from being classified as such.  IWHWSITW’s nature themes and his massive noise WTFs and hissy lo-fi recording techniques owe something to BM.  It is really just noisy, massive, fist pumping black metal for the soccer arenas, albeit with loads of pop dynamite, some sunny mumbling vocals and a pack of cavemen beating on random things for percussion.  If you like The Glow Pt. 2 you really must have this one as well.  – Suzy Creamcheese

26.  Weakling – Dead as Dream

Five songs, (the shortest being over 10 minutes) of the most intense black metal ever issued from this side of the Atlantic.  Will surely separate the men from the pussies (and poseurs).  Don thy corpse paint and thy Gorgoroth spiked arm bands cos we’re about to fuck some shit  up.  – Dr. Anonymous

25.  Agents of Oblivion – s/t

It’s funny looking back to high school and the music we listened to.  I say this because I grew up in rural Wyoming, with no college radio and practically no internet.  How did we find good bands?  I still don’t know; so when I remember us listening to a good band I feel like providence somehow led our path.  My buddy’s older brother introduced me to Acid Bath and I followed Dax Riggs wherever he went after that, and Agents of Oblivion was formed after Acid Bath’s bassist died.  I’ve heard Dax’s voice compared to Jim Morrison.  So how’s this: a Queens of the Stone Age fronted by Jim Morrison that grew up in New Orleans on Eyehategod and weed, instead of in the desert on LSD and ecstasy. — Pthestudp

24. Black Heart Procession – 3*

I have a BHP t-shirt.  It depicts a bunch of naked zombie girls running around hypnotized.  That is what this postwar desolation album sounds like, given the fact that one or more of the hypnotized naked zombie bitches can play the saw. — Pthestudp

23. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

One can tell a lot about the music from Polly’s album covers.  The raw, blaring guitars of Dry were presaged by the picture of Polly’s lips and chin pressed against the glass with an ominously dark background.  Rid of Me’s cover, a naked Polly in black and white with her hair flying presumably from a whip of her head, foretell Steve Albini’s abrasiveness had been added to the bone rattling mix.  To Bring You My Love has Polly in a red dress, lying down in water, heralding grandness, passion and theatricality. One look at this albums cover will tell you times have changed.  Polly dressed and looking normal in every way, crossing some NYC (where she lived for 6 months for inspiration, as indicated by the album’s title.  I’m assuming the sea part comes from her life in England) street.  Many do not like the change in Harvey brought by SFTCSFTS but they should have seen it coming.  Look at the cover people!  — Suzy Creamcheese

22. Avey Tare & Panda Bear – Spirit They’re Gone… Spirit They’ve Vanished

This album is like a child who frequently begs their parents for candy.  The parents get tired of the child’s incessant whining, so occasionally they give in and dish out some candy; but sometimes they beat the shit out of the child whenever they ask.  Then, about 25% of the time, in spite they think: “you asked for it, you got it” and drown the child in a vat of yummy honey.  And the child thinks to themselves, “hum, I kinda wish my parents would have beat the shit out of me again; instead of immerse me in sweet sweet candy.” – Songssuck

21. Christine 23 Onna – Shiny Crystal Planet

Another Pthestudp recommendation.  He said to put it on when I was hungover sometime.  Which I did and didn’t know why the fuck he would say that.  It was like I was hungover on Mars and getting anally raped by Martians or something.  But then I found as the album went on, it did soothe my hangover like nothing else (maybe I like being anally probed by aliens).  I couldn’t believe I had never heard these guys, this is the grooviest cosmic attack (without ever getting wanky) ever!  — Songssuck

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