I'm ambivalent about the upcoming Destroyer album, Trouble in Dreams. On one hand, I’ve been listening to it for two months and still haven’t warmed to it, but on the other, it took me nearly as long to discover the wonders of Destroyer’s last album, Rubies. Last night’s early-morning Destroyer set went a long way toward helping me make up my mind.
“Hello; we’re Dan Bejar and the Destroyers,” the group’s keyboardist said, hitting home once again a message that so far hasn't stuck: Destroyer is the name of the entire group, not just Bejar. Their hour set made that point well: The band was vice-grip tight, conjuring the slick, dual guitars of Lou Reed’s glammed-out, ’70s live records. That flawless sound came at a price: The group spent minutes between most songs tuning their guitars (the Texas heat, they complained, was reeking havoc on their instruments), but perfection takes time, I suppose.
Bejar was typically aloof, playing with his back to the crowd when he wasn’t singing, and maniacally garbling, twisting, de- and re-constructing his lyrics when he was. Old songs I’ve always loved sounded better than ever, and new ones I don’t quite understand began to make a little more sense. I can’t wait to get home and give that new disc another chance.