Local Wire

Destruction Unit @ Marquee Theatre

Heavy, aggressive, and sludgy, local boulder-crushing band Destruction Unit tears through some steady-rocking Germanic grooves. Ryan Rousseau (guitar, vocals, synths) heads up the gang; his bassist brother Rusty, guitarists J.S. Aurelius and Nick Nappa, and drummer Justin Keefer round out the five-piece. Freshly back from SXSW, including a well-received set at a Pitchfork showcase, the band's showcasing fresh material. The Unit's new full-length album, Void, released on the Jolly Dream label, has an apt title — the main feeling the record conveys is one of desolation and emptiness. Though there are melodies present in Destruction Unit tunes, they're skeletal, and the band emphasizes the space in between. This is particularly true on the extended tracks, and the band should provide a nice counterpoint when they support headliners Black Lips, a garage freakbeat gang that works chaos into its melody. "Evil Man" is a highlight of the album, monstrous and heavy yet spacious. For a little variety, though, check out "Exterminate," a brief and efficient punk number. It's in and out in less than half the time Destruction Unit takes to trudge through any of its other songs and reminds listeners that Rousseau drummed for The Reatards in the late '90s. Chaotic atmosphere? Atmospheric chaos? Yep. Both.

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Chris Hassiotis