The Destroyers – Hole In The Universe

The Destroyers
Hole In The Universe
Prod. Gavin Monaghan/Louis Robinson
Transition Records

With this long awaited, exhaustively gestated debut album, Birmingham’s apocalyptically named, multi-membered ensemble, The Destroyers, head-butt down the doors of musical reactionism, give genre shibboleths a shafting and thoroughly blow wind to caution. It’s anarchy ok – but not as we previously knew it. Like a hyper-active Hydra munching on mandrake roots theirs is a Bulgar Buccaneer/Carpathian cavalier ‘Children of the Night’ scream de coeur homage to all things trans-Euro Roots. This thirteen track album firmly establishing them as the definitive mega-mayhem miners of the mother-lode of all things Balkan/Transylvmaniac Gypsy-Punk. Matt Burden’s paganistic, symbol-soaked cover design’s a treat in itself.

Opening with the instrumental Tex/Mex dervish swirl ‘Honga Bulgan’ it hump umpah-tubas into a grappa-fueled Saber Dance that segues into the eponymous title track ‘Hole’. An exploration in to our dark anti-’who cares what matters’ existential anxieties. ‘There’s a…hole no-one can repair/In the cosmic underwear…’ Red Tape’ follows with a frenzied fiddle-lead rage against the bureaucratic machine jobs-worths. Vocalist, co-songwriter and principal lyricist, Paul Murphy, sometimes in raspy Johnny Cash/licorice Vincent Price vocal-noir, is given ample canvas to vent his exploding spleen about all things hypocritical and cant. But humour bubbles amidst the toils and troubles. Party-game spot the influences would last long into the night at which everyone would be a winner. Witty, wry and drenched in both ironic and reverential reference it’s a multi-cultural Chimera album that defies dislike. With the heart-on-sleeve romantic reflections of ‘Clown Slayer/Underground’ there’s chill-space enough catch breath before the death-ballad-noir ‘Diamond Jones’ recalling some of the magic of The Bonzos at their darker best. A Summer-festival filler and sampler certainty.

John Kennedy

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