by John Tarpley
Tastemaker-approved indie rock doesn't get much more cryptic, nonconformist or notable than what comes out of the Destroyer camp. Fronted by eccentric Canadian visionary Dan Bejar (best known for his work in The New Pornographers), the Destroyer moniker has been plastered on a slew of releases since "We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge," his bedroom-recorded, 1996 debut that invited the first of his career-spanning comparisons to Bowie, Roy Wood, Mark Bolan and other literate, rangy space-rockers.
Since, he's remained a universally acclaimed pop revisionist, responsible for some of the better, more inventive bright spots in recent musical memory, including 2006's "Destroyer's Rubies" album, one of the decade's best, and this year's hugely successful "Kaputt," Bejar's witty, glittery take on synthy excess from the 1980s' sonic vacuum, with layers of echoed saxophone, synth pads, gorgeously cheesy guitar tones and production right out of Lindsey Buckingham's "Tango in the Night" playbook.
Destroyer is already an all-star name to begin with, but this show catches him at what could be, judging from the non-stop Internet attention pointed his way over the last few weeks, the height of his career so far. Without a doubt, this is the one must-see of the week. Destroyer is joined by Philadelphia's The War on Drugs, a frustratingly un-Googleable, grandiose band whose manic, driving take on new Americana is a lot more interesting than anything on "The Suburbs." Sorry, Arcade Fire.
Check it out: "Kaputt"