Record of the Week: Destructos: Blast! cassette
Destructos: Blast! cassette (World Gone Mad) Blast! is the debut cassette from this two-piece band from Philadelphia, one half of which is Cassidy from Blank Spell and Devil Master. Destructos reminds me of some of the bigger punk-influenced bands of the 90s—particularly Sleater-Kinney and Fugazi—in their combination of punk energy with angular, post-punk rhythms and considered, engaging songwriting. Destructos doesn’t particularly sound like either of those bands, but there’s something similar in the approach. They sound like a band whose members cut their teeth on punk, but have grown comfortable with their writing and playing abilities and are ready to do something more ambitious, perhaps even accessible. The songs are sophisticated, the playing is precise yet alive, and the recording quality is downright professional. I’m curious whether and how Destructos pulls off these songs live, because it often sounds like two guitars, one with a grungy low-end and another with a piercing high end, but the two rarely play at the same time, so maybe the guitarist is a virtuoso who has some sort of crazy picking technique and/or equipment setup to make it all work. Destructos is the kind of band I could see crossing over to a bigger label like Merge, Kill Rock Stars, or Sub Pop and getting really popular without losing their punk cred. In the meantime, this is a tape worth wearing out.