Christopher Royal King
It used to be pretty easy to describe THIS WILL DESTROY YOU. I could pen something like “a cascading brand of cinematic rock music” and everything was cool for a bit. But then dudes were rolling to shows, going straight up front, snapping pictures of the pedalboards, rebuilding them at home, essentially re-recording Young Mountain, and sending it in to the label thinking that we should put it out. It was a weird time and it sent all involved down different paths of musical inspiration and exploration for future recordings and general direction. Somewhere after the recording of S/T, the departure of Raymond Brown (original bassist) eventually led the band to the more permanent fixture of Donovan Jones. And somewhere after the recording of the Field Studies split CD/LP, Alex Bhore came on board to relieve Andrew Miller of drum duty.
What made the first two albums work like they did and sound like they did was ultimately the dynamics between the personnel and their individual backgrounds and expertise. It was one of the more unique brands of band/songwriting alchemy I’d experienced in working with countless other bands to that point. Without speaking out of school, I had never seen four people go through what they went through in order to get to the end result. It was intense, but it was highly effective and passionate.
So when two key components to the original equation are removed, where does a young band under the microscope take it from there? The answer, it would seem, is a very dark dive from out on the fringe and into the abyss, clear out near Fuck-You-land. What once was a band that you could play over the holidays, in the office, in the coffee shop, and video-sync anything to is now something more along the lines of what you’d listen to with the shades drawn and the lights out, most likely lighting candles in preparation for some sort of mythic and secretive ceremony to follow. When you first hear the current incarnation of the band, you’re going to be in for a shock. Straight up. But before you can even think to run for the door, they’ve already got their teeth out and claws dug in. Whereas their early work may have “destroyed” your inability to get nostalgic or emotional, the current lineup seems intent on ACTUALLY destroying you. Think Warchild from “Point Break.” We’re just gonna fuck you up.