The Destroyers - Hole In The Universe Album Review
The most populous band I can think of is the Polyphonic Spree who had a good few hundred people in the band at any one time. They made choral, symphonic rock-pop to a pretty decent standard (how many other choral, symphonic pop-rock acts can you name?) and for all the contributors never sounded particularly overwhelming or erratic. Boasting fifteen members, The Destroyers may be in competition with the Polyphonic Spree in terms of numbers, but musically they really couldn't be any more dissimilar.
Caught up somewhere between Gogol Bordello and the on-board entertainment for the Jolly Roger The Destroyers occupy their time making rowdy, madcap folk on a grand scale. The troupe take a 'no-holds-barred' approach the album and from the word go you get the impression that anything could happen in the next fifty-two minutes. Putting on the album is a little like entering the barmiest circus in town, with the big top brimming with hurdy-gurdy and raw energy.
Whilst the vigour that is injected by vocalist Paul Murphy sounds at home among the surrounding pandemonium, the instrumentals that are scattered across the album are an exciting booster into the album. Tracks like the album opener 'Honga Bulgar' and the fast tempo tuba plodding of 'Clown Slayer' give the album a sense of spontaneity and whilst they may be have been rehearsed numerously by the group it is these tracks in particular that give the album the impression of an impromptu performance. Bands that incorporate such an unorthodox style definitely benefit from this fa╬ade of improvising as it adds to the whole spectacle of the group essentially being a collective of musical madmen.
Regardless of any of the 'holes' Murphy warbles about throughout the album, if there was ever a hole in your record collection for chaotic, punk-infused gypsy rock then this album should wedge in the gap nicely. In a world of 'X Factors' and 'Voices' there is still hope for the musical population as long as bands like The Destroyers continue plundering the eardrums of those willing to listen. They are the much needed antidote to mass manufactured pop, delivering a style that is essentially pop music when performed with no boundaries, no awareness of criticism or disregard but perhaps most importantly of all they play with a sense of humour and place all seriousness to one side when performing.
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