If Can pioneered experimental rock, and Sonic Youth took it to new heights, then Crush Kill Destroy are taking it to new depths, pounding it into the ground as a pursuit of originality rather than punishment. The guitars aren’t fucked with per se, it’s more like the guitars are doing the fucking. Almost everything is played in a weird key, but the band confidently plows through the sharp turns and odd time sigs as if they were pumping out the easiest punk riffs ever.
The drummer plays in riffs rather than be relegated to time-keeper, which doesn’t happen nearly enough in rock. It’s like a a whole new section of a song to listen to, much preferred than the standard and usually ignored 4 x 4 beat. The vocals I can take or leave, with this much dissonant sound and this many lengthy compositions (7 songs in 45 minutes) the math punk here doesn’t lend itself well to showcasing a vocalist. Most of the time the singer speaks or shouts, and aside from a few chant-y vocal hooks doesn’t carry much melody or weight. “Walter Mondale” pounds and wiggles into your noggin after a few listens, but tracks like “Is The New Black”, with its two guitarists sounding like they are playing two different songs, takes a bit of aural navigation to wrap your ears around it.
Some shots in the dark for influences probably boil down to the aforementioned acts, along with the less accessible work of Fugazi, and perhaps some of that art punk trash rock that Touch And Go provided in the 1990s.
-Mark Hughson 4/3/06