Review: Destruction Unit – Sandy Sessions

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Ascetic House have been busy pushing out their January program, in full. So while you slept on it, Invisible Guy kept counting. According to the newsletter, they have a rather unique approach when putting out their releases. They planned 31 cassettes for their program, but each individual release was and is only available on the day that it is released. A new release appeared the next day, but since it’s already the 31st, it’s kind of late to write about their program. The releases were not announced in advance, so it was randomized. For those that follow the Asceticism of Ascetic House, these releases will ship out in the end of the month, which would be today.

Some of these releases may also end up in distribution, at selected record stores and distros. Lucky for you, each one of the out-of-print releases (meaning every release), have been put up as a free download. Unfortunately, that means that you’re turning up rather late for the physical edition. Me too. These releases remain up on their website for download until this evening, when I’m writing this, and tomorrow they’ll be gone. For me, it’s not the point to give you anything more then a taste from Ascetic Korp (Soundcloud), and write-ups of these different releases.

Since they made a concept of their own, Invisible Guy will blindly follow their concept, but he will move astray from the set dates. Because he’s out of luck this time. Each day, he will bring you a review and let you listen to a piece of a track from the release which he is reviewing.

First up is Destruction Unit and their recently released (in the January program) session “Sandy Sessions“.

1st of January!

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Destruction Unit have been around since 2004, and probably before that, even. They’ve released albums, singles and E.P.s on labels such as Empty Records, FDH Records, Volar Records, Sacred Bones Records, Jolly Dream Records, Discos Cagados, Disordered Records, Lo-Fi Records, Suicide Squeeze and BIG LOVE Records. One live-record and a session have been reserved for release on Ascetic House. The band consists, and have consisted of Ryan Rousseau, Rusty Rousseau, Nick Nappa, JS Aurelius, Andrew Flores, Justin Keefer – some of whom are a part of Ascetic House. They play a combination of psychedelic garage and noise rock. We’re going to get into their latest release, the session-release “Sandy Sessions“. Four tracks, namely “Time Traveler“, “Desert Snow“, “Poison Breath” and “Do Drugs (Nihilism)” were recorded in Brooklyn, New York at Heaven Street studio by Kyle Keays – a day before the 29th of October, when the Hurricane Sandy reached its epitome. This was when it hit New York and New Jersey, where the severest damage was done. Therefore: “Sandy Sessions“.

The first song “Time Traveler” is a catchy piece of music, which derives the most out of the psychedelia, which just sits there and looms at the beginning – whilst they rev up the noise rock, keeping a steady tempo – just so I can nod to the track and go with the rhythm. It’s constant. When it’s been going for roughly two minutes, the singer’s canned voice is picked up and as he reaches his epitome, all hell breaks loose and the psychedelia sips in like it came from a breach in the hull. The guitars are absolutely wild, gracing you with the reverberant that acts as distortion, clashing with the wildly played drums. Suddenly, it speeds up and reaches into a whirlwind of screeching guitars, gradually speeding it to its utmost limit when everything comes together once again – just to fade out into the blue. It feels like you’re caught with the wind, it feels like you’re experience what had been hitting and should just hit – New York City (amongst other cities). So the name itself is prophetic, as you’re caught in the maelstrom of guitars, drums, vocals and bass – which winds you up until you loose yourself to it. You have a clear sense of where it’s heading in the beginning, but then it picks off from there and leaves you totally clueless. You never know what hit you, until you realize it afterwards. It’s simply stunning, in the literal sense of the word.

Now, “Desert Snow“, the second track – starts off more like a rehearsal. Featuring slowly-paced psychedelic delight, entwined with the ramblings of the vocalist – rather than the up-tempo garage schtick. It’s like a lullaby, if you’d force it into a concoction of noisy rock melodrama. When you’re about to be included into their lullabies, it instead whirls into a mesmerizing feverish dream. There’s even more psychedelia included here, as if you’d be out on a whim and into wonderland. A seemingly nauseating experience when it has drawn you in for a constant rhythmic swaying, sincerely for you by the guitars and the continuous tempo by the drums. We’re at the crescendo, but we can’t get away from there. It’s like you’re dragged into the quicksand, quickly forming around you, as the snow pours down. Therefore; “Desert Snow“. A brutally chilling experience, traveling through time and space with the psychedelic vibes you’d only get from such a setting. Most of it’s predictable, but when they hypnotize you with such a fantastic performance, even though it’s just a session – you’re flabbergasted. There’s certainly no lack of energy, as they pounce away and fade into obscurity, leaving only a deserted mind. Emptied of all significance, fading into the quick-sand – never to be seen again. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I reckon. Effin’ good one at that, but like some other tracks, it’s simply meant to be heard only once. You might disagree, but it is memorable, but I don’t want to ruin it.

Charging at you in a slow-paced motion, moving forwards – is the track “Poison Breath“. Yes, it breathes down your neck. Feels like you’re a part of the chase, but you’re chased, therefore you’re not only the one going to be feasted upon – you’re actually not the predator. When listening to this, I feel active and not passive. I’m slowly starting to think that they’re tricking me into this story of theirs, which has been built up since the last two tracks, only to get more obvious in this one. I don’t give much for the sound, because it feels quite repetitive. But that is probably the point, just to slowly mold into where the vocals come in – as they play their part. Locked into a closet, dampened and psychotic – far away. It’s jam-packed with the most robust, but noisy rock you’ll ever hear. Feeding into the enormous distortion generated by their general atmosphere, but also generated by their manipulation of their instruments – in regards to their setting. Chugging riffs, outdrawn riffs, crazily psychedelic guitars and an abundance of feedback feed into the most psychedelic garage rock. This crossover can be considered to be a success, if you’d ever find it below all the grimy and muddy dung that is shot your way. This track is probably the most flipped out yet, but I’m not hoping for much either. Regarding the track that comes after this, the name of that track spells even more disaster. Disaster in a totally maddening, but positive way – if that even makes sense.

The name of this track is “Do Drugs“, and is credited as “Do Drugs (Nihilism)” when reading Discogs. Well, if I’d ever get surprised by anything so far, it would be the classic rock vibe that it delivers in the beginning. A solo-driven guitar with a gurgling vocalist that spews out his toothpaste with water. In regards to the name of the track, and the music at hand, this is probably how you’d feel if a hurricane had hit you the day after – and you saw it in some kind of psychotic vision. Or maybe it’s simply a call for total decadence, who knows. “A-aa-aa-aahh“, is all I hear, as the vocalists words (that I can decipher) echo round and round, in my brain. Let’s hope they never start a dentistry, because they’d pull out your teeth without any mercy. With nippers. It’s by this time that I frankly get annoyed by listening to this release, but it’s actually the final track, so I sit down and try to endure the enormously boring tempo that has stirred up the total carnage that is in my headphones. By then, the song has already ended in an outdrawn sigh and a bang. But it fades out quietly, into a silent snip that cuts it off. Yes, this release is so sickening and dirty that you’ll have to use something else to clean your ears out. Even though it’s the shortest song on the release, it feels like hours just went by, as if the heat-wave just hit me. I feel totally deserted.

Listen to a track from a release by them of the Ascetic House program, the January program of course. It’s not a track from this release, unfortunately, but it’s from another. So get on with it.

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