DESTROYED, THE: Russian Roulette: CDEP

Jun 19, 2007

I’m not from the East Coast, so it took me a while to figure out what was really going on here. It also took a few listens to get it. Bostonians may remember. ‘77 to ‘79, there was a band called The Destroyed. They played with The Dead Boys and The Ramones, among others. The drummer (Bert Switzer) and guitar/vocalist (J.D. Jackson) reformed and recorded this EP last year, after almost thirty years. My first reaction after listening was to laugh. I feel a little bad about it though, because when I get older, I only hope I am as cool as these guys. The drums and guitars are so out of sync at times it makes me wonder if they were listening to each other when they recorded it. After a few listens, the style sank in a little bit. Switzer mostly plays a series of drum rolls, and sloppily accents different changes in songs. Rarely will he play a steady beat. I say this not in suggesting he isn’t proficient at his instrument, but because he is not a typical “punk” drummer. There is a two minute, fifty-second drum solo at the end of the CD that Max Weinberg couldn’t touch on his best night. It’s that his style is more like a constant drum solo with an attempt to sync some guitar and vocals over the top. Jackson plays simple melodies that remind me a lot of the late ‘70s Cleveland scene (Rocket From The Tombs or Pagans). The combo, as strange as it seems, somehow reminds me of The Urinals with a jazz drummer. At other times, it’s just super sloppy ‘77 punk. If you can get over their inability to play in tempo with each other, some of the songs are actually pretty good. I’m still pretty torn on a final opinion. Is the world ready for such a crossover?

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