Destroyer – Bay of Pigs EP

August 29, 2009

destroyerMuch could be said, and probably already has been said, about the novel aspects of this new release, “Bay of Pigs,” by Destroyer. Only two tracks, stretching more than 20 minutes in total. Electronics instead of guitars.

But, to me at least, “Bay of Pigs” seems to build naturally, though importantly, on much of Destroyer’s previous work. For starters, Dan Bejar’s long songs have always been his best songs (see, for example, “Hey, Snow White” or basically anything on “Destroyer’s Rubies” from 2006). And, what’s more, the overall sound of the two new tracks on this EP would not be too far out of place on “Your Blues” from 2004 (see, for example, “It’s Gonna Take an Airplane”).

Indeed, this “Bay of Pigs” EP strikes me as the natural culmination of exactly the sort of “European Blues” that Bejar introduced us to on his 2004 lp. Look at the cover: there he stands, at the top of the stairs, looking down just like Bryan Ferry, that other great European bluesman, would. And, like all of the other great Destroyer songs, these two somehow seem to be about many things at once: politics and diplomacy in both the large and the small, failed expeditions, disastrous invasions, and houses lying in ruins. Christine — I guess she was the one who “looked ok with the others and looked great by herself” in “Painter in Your Pocket” from “Destroyer’s Rubies” — makes a return on the title track. And the Balearic instrumentation, also maybe a kind of “European Blues,”  provides the perfect backdrop to all that.

So while some will focus on the new, I like it that Dan Bejar’s still walking the city streets at night, maybe a little bit sorry and definitely more than a little bit drunk, remembering things past.

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