destroyer vs. destroyer

notorious lightning and other works your blues

No, this isn’t about a sunday afternoon demolition derby matchup.

Amanda had me download this Destroyer EP Notorious Lightning and Other Works, which is basically a re-recording of selected songs from your blues with his touring band backing him.

The contrast is striking. What I really love about “your blues” is everything that makes it unique – Bejar’s off-kilter phrasing, minimalist arrangements, the coming and going of any discernable time signature, the odd instrumentation, orchestral/horn section/synth flourishes and everything else that somehow manages to crystallize in a really beautiful, coherent sound.

What they’ve done on “Notorious Lightning and Other Works” is to take those sounds and distill them down to the traditional rock band formula: drums, bass, guitar, vocals. Ho hum. I can understand why of course you have to do this to some extent with a touring band, but these renditions just leave me flat. Listening to it just made me want to listen to “your blues” – which I did. Bejar’s songwriting is strong, which is why seeing Destroyer live last week still kicked ass, but I am not confident this musical arrangement is one that’s particularly worth putting down on wax.

Worth getting if you’re a consummate Destroyer fan, but skip it otherwise and get “your blues”, which is a truly amazing piece of work.