Destroy All Monsters - Box (1974-76)


Who knows what exactly prompted it, but one of the most unlikely box sets/multi-disc collections ever put out surfaced in 1994 courtesy of a co-release between Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace! and Byron Coley's Father Yod label -- and even got distribution via Warner Bros. at that! Covering the years in question, 1974-76 is an exhaustive three-disc overview of Destroy All Monsters' little-known early days, when the original core quartet were doing music for themselves and nobody else and punk was an incipient scene no matter where one looked. Given that the Asheton years are the ones most people would know, it's thrilling to hear what was going on before he came along -- while the Stooges were an admitted influence on the band, it was merely one of many. Kelley assembled the package, providing the collage of band-created artwork and an informative history of the group, its ties to Ann Arbor, and the desire of the four to do something well beyond the surrounding milieu of post-hippie/frat row life in the town. Given that everything was recorded on cheap tape using often broken or run-down equipment, the sound is still quite good. The three discs clearly show that the band definitely had the same "try anything, screw the rules, and what is supposed to be quality" approach that fellow acts like Pere Ubu, Suicide, and Chrome were coming up with, only steering even further away from what rock was supposed to be. The inclusion of some free jazz guest performers from the area isn't surprising at all, squalling sax and other brass popping up here and there. With a rhythm box providing the percussion and everything from traditional guitars and bass to any number of appliances providing the other sounds, along with Niagara's alternately sassy and sweet singing and other odd spoken word bits, the end result is woozy weirdness of high quality. The occasional cover surfaces -- "Mack the Knife," "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" -- but otherwise it's all original, from the bad movie snippets to the drones and murky hooks throughout. Some of the Asheton tracks surface towards the end, and okay enough rock they are too, but it's the real band material that needs to be heard, and now finally can be, in spades.

5 comments:

decrepittapes said...

http://www.sendspace.com/file/s5cp8u

Holly said...

Wow - thank you VERY much!

Novemberer said...

A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Ozzy said...

Thanks, man!

earl said...

Excellent..thanks very much..