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02. Golden Technique
04. Littered with Arrows
05. Off the Beaten Path
06. We've Been Had [Version]
07. Dead Weight as Far as the Eye Can See
08. Daddy Long Legs
09. Schools Named After Presidents
10. Number Cruncher
11. Feeling Is Mutual
Reviewed by: Cory
// Published: 9/7/2007
There's a fine line between meticulously organized chaos and a loud, obnoxious mess. Destroyer Destroyer seem to take joy in jumping back and forth across that line. While there is definitely something charming about their frequent disregard for discernible structure, the band's vocals are so inexcusably grating that listening to them for more than a few minutes at a time is damn near impossible. Littered With Arrows is a potentially impressive album that is sadly brought down by a single intolerable musical element, a surprising feat on a record full of cacophony and dischord.
The band describes themselves as "extreme grind" but their take on the style is as twisted as their guitar riffs. There's a lot more in common with As The Sun Sets or Jane Doe-era Converge than Carcass or Brutal Truth. There's not a lot of speed to most of the disc's twelve tracks and the familiar start/stop dynamic is employed every ten seconds or so to ensure that no track ever settles into a defined groove. Littered With Arrows is an album of furious metallic noise for the ADD crowd and pulls off the style successfully most of the time when it comes to the music.
While this sort of thing isn't usually my cup of tea, I really would have enjoyed this disc were it not for the vocal stylings of Jamie Schnetzler. Half the time he sounds like a See 'N Say going through a garbage disposal. The rest of the time he ranges anywhere from "tea kettle" to "white noise." Every so often, he lets loose a really solid growl, as in the end of "Number Cruncher," reminiscent of Neurosis' Scott Kelly. Why he doesn't stick with this is anybody's guess. The ability that this guy has to make these sounds would be impressive if he were in a Police Academy movie, but I can live without them in my music. This would have been a solid record without the vocals.
Bottom Line: Destroyer Destroyer's Littered With Arrows is another entry into the increasingly crowded extreme noise/"grind" genre that may really take off if fans are willing to ignore some of the worst vocals ever recorded. There are some interesting riffs and smart albeit underdeveloped musical concepts throughout the record that still make it worth your time, just be prepared for a serious test of your endurance to make it all the way through.
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