A live record might seem like a harrowing endeavor for any label, given the unpredictable, and sometimes catastrophic no-second-take nature of the setting—the venue’s sound, artist’s sound, the crowd, the energy of the room. You can set up the microphones as meticulously as humanly possible, but once the set starts, it’s a frenetic matter of chance and blind anticipation, especially for a band with a stage presence as relentlessly ferocious and wholly wild as Destruction Unit. However, Castle Face Records with the next installment of their Live in San Francisco series, is attempting to capture and convey the powerhouse intensity and mind-melting dominance of a D Unit live show.
Although it might not be able to display the outrageous spectacle of their guitar theatrics (all three of them baring full), or climbing on top of amps and scaffolding, or the occasional two drummer set-up, the live record, out February 23 on Castle Face, will do its damnedest to bring us the other sensory feats that come with seeing a four-song set from the Arizona psych kings, live. They’ve released a track, “Bumpy Road,” a song from their 2013 magnum opus, Deep Trip, and it’s filled with as much explosiveness as you can get without having them right in front of you. Ryan Rousseau’s vocals are barely there, through the blistering swirls of guitar effects and heavy bass, but it’s just enough to know he’s a crucial part of this live presence. Some random electronics become noticeable during the final moments, though you know they were probably there the whole time. The end result is a mentally and physiologically draining listening experience, and it’s only the second of four tracks. Also on the record are “The World on Drugs,” “Slow Death Sounds,” and “Night Longer.”