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Destroy All Monsters | Live in Tokyo + Osaka | review | rock | Lollipop
Destroy All Monsters
Live in Tokyo + Osaka (Compound Annex/MVD)
By Craig Regala
Bleeping honking and farting sine/cosine waves from a unit that fell from the art-inflected TV-addled brat fuck "we're not buying the good time," U.S. pre-punk underground's soft, white underbelly via rusty knife c-section. Twenty plus years on their blapping and moaning got caught on tape in the land of the Rising Sun. It sounds just like the thing Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, various free jazz/free rock things and a decent solo rec.) put out from last century compiling those initial urges. Hell, that thing - it was a big set, like three LPs, three CDs, and three videos (I was in deep multi-drug wrecked status at the listening, I can't remember details) - was a set everyone said was important, then went looking for more meth/coke/Ritalin, pot, etc. BUT came back. THE true measure of good arts impact; post drug-run return. In manly business terms, it comes down to one word: Solid-Quality.
So Live's got a couple ringers playing with the early regular folks and it wacks the bell pretty good. General dronelyness plus phased-out noise-snaking (it's a drunk snake, mind you) in and about the proceedings cut with acid folk/rock basement howling, and let's face it, actual tunes! Unlike trying to be "way-out" and pulling back for acceptance, these jokesters are just "out there." They intersect with tunefulness like some nutty jazzers lifting a melody or chorus from some Sabbath song popular when Homer nailed Marge in the back seat of a Nova (first couple times). That they load that melody into some homeless guy's pants and send him into ye olde modern art gallery telling him it's a Karaoke bar having a contest for the best take on "Batman" shows the proper restraint and focus in seasoning.
Really, it's a glimpse into a time when people were exposed to mass media and countercultural burbling, digested it, and flew alone. No cell phone/Internet connections, just wandering and bumping into the other oddballs through fanzines, comic book shops, and record stores. Some of those peers being Debris, Pere Ubu, Chrome, the Residents, the L.A.F.M.A., Vertical Slit, Throbbing Gristle, The Chain Gang, and The Flying Fucking A-heads.