Destruction Unit, “If Death Ever Slept”

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Destruction Unit

If time has told us anything, it’s that a record as highly acclaimed and completely mind-engulfing as Destruction Unit’s 2013 monster, Deep Trip, will leave big shoes to fill. With such a release, the Arizona psych-punk outfit has honed an inimitable sonic presence that baffles listeners simply with the magnitude of three guitars booming at once, and then intricately heightens the experience with a plethora of effects and a vocal omnipotence that will make you think the devil just entered the room upon the first lyrical wail.

Their well-established energy, wielding the power of the desert sun, spills over and inverts its own idea of itself with the revealing of “If Death Ever Slept”, the first single from the just-announced forthcoming LP, Negative Feedback Resistor, out September 18 on Sacred Bones (co-released this time around with Adult Swim). The track would lead one to believe the record unimaginably promises to be faster, and a bit wilder than Deep Trip. Starting with their now signature drone, it’s not long before the atmosphere is cut through by the barbed-wire twang of the main guitar theme and the subsequent onslaught of phaser-infused full-band fury; a weighty swirl of tumbling, erratic tones, like boulders falling dangerously down a mountainside.

Frontman Ryan Rousseau’s voice is maybe the biggest signifier of an increase in intensity, bellowing underneath in its reverbed depth, and entering emotive howls and bloodcurdling shrieks not present on previous releases. The emotive swooping vocal haunts become another instrument themselves, a fourth guitar, blaring in a more ferocious, neurotic psych-solo. If “If Death Ever Slept” is any indicator of what’s to come, and if Negative Feedback Resistor is indeed to be crazier than Deep Trip, then Destruction Unit may very well have achieved the impossible.