There's something supernatural about Destroy This Place. Everything seemed to fall together for this foursome and, pretty much from the get-go; nothing was spoken, no specific styles were schemed for; they plugged in, clicked and crackled out their unforced sound of signature forcefulness.
"It's pretty telepathic," said guitarist/singer Ryan Allen, "we've gotten to the point where we've developed sort of a kinetic energy between the four of us." The other three, of said-four, is guitarist/singer John Nelson, bassist Monday Busque and drummer Sean Sommer.
Born between two Detroit pop/rock groups of the late 00's (the scrappier sugar-punk of New Grenada and the 90's indie shred skater shake-ups of Friendly Foes) the Ferndalian/Royal-Oak hybrid was forged inside the now-dormant Hybrid Moments boutique, their inaugural performance during 2010's DIY Street Fair.
Don't raise any cautious brows over their name, this isn't some kind of elbows-up hardcore punk or death-metal melee band; these are married dudes (mostly), some of them dads, each on the sensible side of 30, now, who've each been doing the band-thing long enough to have honed their swing at the plate without dislocating shoulders or tearing ACLs on some mindless mosh through self-destructive rock raucous glory.
They're still loud as hell, though.
But at this point, after two years of gelling between four musicians, each with 10+ years singing and slamming on this scene (and, for that matter, with as many started/stalled past bands between them), this is when that destruction implied by the beautiful havoc of rock 'n' roll music, can find its unspoken synchronicity.
This, for a group like Destroy This Place, at this place-in-time, is when the loudness, the fervor, the guitar-wringing, cymbal-shearing, bass avalanches, the lovely, melodious loudness, gets toned.
Coming out of the studio with these two new songs wrapped and 10 more written and ready to lay down later this summer, they've finally gotten a chance to catch their breaths and look back upon their first two years, which have included sharing bills with notable noise-pop acts that compliment their guitar-heavy swagger like No Age, Screaming Females and recent buzz-darlings Yuck.
"You get to the point where everything just feels really natural," said Nelson, who fronted New Grenada and put out his first proper solo-LP in 09. "And, eventually you develop: 'a sound.'"
Whereas their first few months cleared vaults of past-song ideas leftover from New Grenada and Allen's Friendly Foes, they eventually started building that Destroy This Place sound. "Making sure (the songs) sound like: Us, is the goal," said Nelson. "When I listen to the Buzzcocks, Husker Du or Nirvana, those songs sound as good to me as when I was younger. We just want to make music that will sound good forever."
"Having (Busque) and (Sommer) as a rhythm section makes a huge difference," Allen said. "Both of those dudes can play...so it's to our advantage to exploit that fact and our newest songs are proof of that. The songs on our 7" with Hospital Garden are like a kiss-off to our 'pop'-side. Not to say that the songs we've been writing for our next album aren't catchy - they are - but they're just a bit more agitated and complex..."
This is a pretty damn-good pop band, when they want to be. Listeners will hear the guitar squalls, the nervy/groovy bass and clatter-slammed drums and, if not harken back to their past-groups, will likely harken back to the feedback-furled rough-n-tumble style of those bands Nelson name-dropped above. But still, sutured subtly throughout DTP songs are hooks that hit you deep, choruses that strike as anthemic and major-keys that rev-up the heart and stomp the feet - perfect summer jams.
"Nick Mancuso's awesomely gross monster artwork on this," Allen notes, "along with the clear vinyl, the help from Forge Again Records and the fact that Hospital Garden is such a rad band, makes this release a total-package."
Listen: Hospital Garden - "Magnified"
Nelson agrees with Hospital Garden's Lucas Hollow, that these songs are a unique (and deceptive) "preview" of their respective forthcoming full lengths - neither necessarily strong indicators of what's to come...
"These songs," said Hollow, "are a little more pop than our previous releases, but, they don't venture too far into that territory." The singer/guitarist grew up in Michigan and considers many of his comrades here to be significant influences upon his own Chicago-based trio's blend of thickly-fuzz-coated guitar grinds.
Musician Eric Gallippo, who plays in a few Ypsi/Arbor area bands, facilitated the link between these two bands, leading to a fateful show together at which the head of Forge Again Records was in attendance.
"Every time we play here we get to catch up with friends and play a show with a lot of great bands," said Hollow. "Because it's so much fun, and they always end up being great, I'm a little biased toward Michigan shows."
The "poppy" but mostly gnarly tracks featured on Hospital Garden's side of the 7" will likely not be what one hears on their forthcoming full length (which, itself, is only just getting started but will likely include eclectic instrumentation, likely, even, a theremin).
Destroy This Place, meanwhile, are planning on returning to one of their favorite studios next month, Russian Recording (with Mike Bridavsky) in Bloomington, Ind., to wrap their second album.
"Some of the songs are really aggressive," Nelson said. "Some are built off of heavy riffs, while some have more of a shoegaze, noisy sound. Ryan and I are both using a lot more pedals these days."
The modus-operandi for DTP is just go with what works. Tap that telepathy!
"I think we just want to keep writing and recording good music," Nelson surmised. "It’s fulfilling to play a new song for the first time, or finally hear it recorded."
Listen: Savage Seven - "Pleasure Seeker"