NEGATIVE FEEDBACK RESISTOR by Destruction Unit
Genre: Noise Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Favorite Tracks: “Salvation”, “Chemical Reaction/Chemical Delight”
It’s clear that Jay Reatard’s death shook many to their core. The man made a huge mark on the American garage rock scene by incorporating aggressive psychedelic and noise elements into an otherwise dying punk culture. Two individuals he worked closely with, brothers Ryan and Rusty Rousseau, sought to continue Jay’s efforts long after his contributions to their band Destruction Unit. The group’s unique amalgamation of unforgiving Reatard energy and relentless noise onslaughts from guitarists JS Aurelius and Nick Nappa of Marshstepper kept Destruction Unit eclipsed by tamer noise rock bands, such as Iceage and White Suns. It was only until early 2013 that the band got a resurgence of fame thanks to signing onto Brooklyn label Sacred Bones, who have been supporting more than a few peculiar musicians, from David Lynch to noise goddess Pharmakon. DEEP TRIP proved to be an exciting step forward for the band, and now in 2015 with the help of Adult Swim, we see the release of Destruction Unit’s long awaited new album, entitled NEGATIVE FEEDBACK RESISTOR.
While it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this album hits hard, NEGATIVE FEEDBACK RESISTOR just doesn’t seem to play with all of the aspects that defined Destruction Unit in the way that their previous records did. For one, many of the tracks on the album favor noise feedback, rather than any sort of psychedelic sounds. Though this may be a plus for some, almost all of the guitar work repeats itself ad nauseam, forcing layers of instrumentation upon the listener rather than easing one into them. Even throughout different tracks, the noisy bits show little-to-no variation, relying on the energy of recycled guitar riffs to retain any sort of thrill. The opener,“Disinfect”, starts out with a slow, ethereal soundscape that quickly jerks itself into twelfth gear. Though it may sound shocking the first time around, the band favors this method to an extreme, cutting corners on what a full-length release truly deserves.
Tracks flow into each other seamlessly, which yields a double-edged sword. Shorter songs serve as a fun blast of energy, but longer ones that deal with more-or-less the same type of progression, become a chore to get through. However, the band occasionally demonstrates an ability to reel things in when the album gets a little too same-y. On the third track,“Salvation”, for a brief moment after a quick assault of distortion, we are given some of the heaviest guitars on the album, creeping slowly into a riot topping the album’s opening. A similar formula is used on the following track,“Chemical Reaction/Chemical Delight”, executed in a much more abrupt and violent fashion that stands out when compared to the rest of the album.
Sadly, the only other noteworthy thing NEGATIVE FEEDBACK RESISTOR offers is Ryan Rousseau’s vocals. As the album goes on, he gets more and more growl-y, adding hints of metal to the album’s already pretty visceral endeavors. But this is, of course, manipulated and covered under a blast of guitars that are a little less than spicy for any seasoned noise rock fan.
Verdict: Do Not Recommend