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Album Review

On Preludes, I Was Totally Destroying It certainly try to live up to their name in some shape or form: singing "Me against the world" and relying on a big, chunky rock riff for the opening song certainly shows they're not ones to shy away from anthems. John Booker isn't cut out for rough-voiced rabble rousing as much as cleaner (if sometimes strained) vocals, while Rachel Hirsh's own lead vocals have a similar feeling emotionally, but are just that much stronger in impact on the technical level to provide an often compelling balance. There's also a funny sense of how much the music sounds like it could have been U.K. indie just pre-Nirvana; it's cheery but still a bit clean, mixed with the continuing impact of new wave hyperactivity as translated by the 21st century. (Something about the keyboards and guitars suggests late-'80s Cure.) Big choruses and a sense that they really mean it crop up constantly, and it's all very passionate in its own way. Demi-ballads like "All Get Lucky" and "Fight/Flight" provide a contrast to the full-on brawlers like "Twenty-Thousand," the album's strongest track. There's something that feels just a little off about the album regardless — perhaps the way things sound pitched toward the high end in the mix — and there's a sense that Preludes feels more like a coda than a start. Then again, the band seems not to want it any other way.


Formed: 2007 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Chapel Hill-based quintet I Was Totally Destroying It formed in 2007 from the ashes of Sorry About Dresden and Saddle Creek. Their songs benefited from muscular guitars and the perspective provided by dual songwriters (and lead vocalists) John Booker and Rachel Hirsh. Booker and Hirsh were romantically linked at the formation of the band, but broke up between the release of their debut album and Horror Vacui, their excellent 2009 release on Greyday Records. The breakup was the subject of several...
Full Bio