13 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Portland sextet always manages to hoist their own original tones above their musical reference points — Crosby, Stills and Nash, Queen in the '70s — and they do it here with tastefully tucked analogue synths and a sideways approach to the guitar that could only come from '90s indie-rock and noise-pop. Though frontman Eric Early unapologetically wears longhaired ‘70s sun-flared California folk-rock influences on his sleeve (12-string guitars and cascading harmonies abound), many of these songs reveal a different approach to songwriting. “The Man Who Would Speak True” updates the murder ballad with subtle sonic drones pulsing underneath his Dylan-affected nasal inflections. “The Tree (featuring Alela Diane) is a sweet little duet inspired by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ vocal relationship, but Early and Diane blend a more fanciful baroque-pop inspired approach into this dusty desert hymn. Bonus track “Sadie” boasts almost four minutes of West Coast piano pop that marries Dennis Wilson’s melancholic beauty with hay-fever vocals akin to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Portland sextet always manages to hoist their own original tones above their musical reference points — Crosby, Stills and Nash, Queen in the '70s — and they do it here with tastefully tucked analogue synths and a sideways approach to the guitar that could only come from '90s indie-rock and noise-pop. Though frontman Eric Early unapologetically wears longhaired ‘70s sun-flared California folk-rock influences on his sleeve (12-string guitars and cascading harmonies abound), many of these songs reveal a different approach to songwriting. “The Man Who Would Speak True” updates the murder ballad with subtle sonic drones pulsing underneath his Dylan-affected nasal inflections. “The Tree (featuring Alela Diane) is a sweet little duet inspired by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ vocal relationship, but Early and Diane blend a more fanciful baroque-pop inspired approach into this dusty desert hymn. Bonus track “Sadie” boasts almost four minutes of West Coast piano pop that marries Dennis Wilson’s melancholic beauty with hay-fever vocals akin to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
90 Ratings
90 Ratings
Matt Howl ,

A Lad Insane

Another terrific album by Blitzen Trapper. Kicking off with a progtastic first song, this record feels like a gauzy, boozy look to Bowie and Queen thru the rainy eyes of Portland. Or Neil Young. And even though the classic influences are strong, I never feel like this is anything other than new. If not groundbreaking.

acurrier ,

Better start to finish than Furr

I realize some may dismiss my review right away based on the title, and I have to admit that at first few listens of Destroyer, I too, felt it was not the masterpiece that Furr was. However, I quickly found myself going back and relistening over and over.. in the car, in bed, as I fall asleep, singing it to myself.. and around the 6th listen I realized this was not Furr - this was better. The songwriting is superb and instrumentation is on point and even more technically sound than their "grungier" earlier efforts. I challenge you to find one song on this album that you want to skip. It just simply does not exist. I will agree this is missing the "single hits" such as Black River Killer but each song is something that penetrates your soul and sticks with you until you find yourself humming a melody and wondering where it came from. It harkens back to simpler times perhaps of the 70s, evoking Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul McCartney, and it is beautiful.

JV19 ,

Blitzen's Back

After Furr Blitzen Trapper can do no wrong. I think this is a fantastic album, best songs 1-12. Great tunes to cruise the open road. Also check out Deer Tick's new album called the Black Dirt Sessions.

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