Destruction Unit, “The Upper Hand”

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When a record evokes questions and curiosities as to what instruments or effects were used in its making, the record is probably a success in its being interesting, and pretty cool; but when a record beckons the question, “what drugs were used in it making,” it’s probably an all around triumph. At least such is what’s being hinted at with the powerhouse of psychedelic fury on “The Upper Hand,” the latest single from Destruction Unit, in anticipation of their forthcoming LP, Negative Feedback Resistor. Coming out of a strange combination of static and uncharacteristically pleasant open chords, the hurdling gurgles of the opening riffs are nothing short of cutthroat, suggesting bits of Motorhead, only on all sorts of uppers. Ryan Rousseau’s voice thunders in ominous overheads, and melds into the voraciousness whirlwind of a drug-induced audible psychosis. The track enters and exits changes in tempo and rhythm with an ease that almost calls attention from its total breakneck speed, and the Arizona five-piece’s (well, at least they’re usually a five-piece) trademark effectual, phasing weirdness enters only towards the latter end of what is, up until then, sheer madness—as though acid is introduced to speed—as though the drugs are instruments, themselves.

Negative Feedback Resistor is out September 19 on Sacred Bones Records.