Negative Feedback Resistor (Sacred Bones)
There’s an old adage that states there are only so many chords you can play, and by extension, only so much you can do with the tried and tested rock ’n’ roll set up of guitar, drums and a mic. But as with anything in life, it does’t matter what tools you possess, it matters what you do with them.
In the case of Arizona’s Destruction Unit, once they get behind their instruments, it turns out pretty much anything is possible.
Having established themselves as a set of freaky dudes ready to pummel your frontal lobe with all manner of slug driven psyche metal by way of their initial release Void and debut album proper Deep Trip, Destruction Unit return with Negative Feedback Resistor. A record less likely to offer you a bag of grass and a hit of mescaline than to utterly atomise your inner cochlea.
Deep Trip opens with the immediate, swirling punch of ‘The World On Drugs’ which, at the time, was pretty much the hardest and most aggressive Destruction Unit were capable of intimating. Two years later however, the explosive energy crammed into that track is where Negative Feedback Resistor begins. On the band’s already solid foundations, Destruction Unit have built a towering skyscraper’s worth of tightly wound, controlled aggression.
‘Disinfect’ could be considered a strange choice for this album’s opening salvo. The fist two minutes resonate with dissonant reverb heavy swirls, middle distance ambient noise and faint feedback and the track seem as though it could mark the beginning of an alt-chill record circa 1990. But this is just Destruction Unit lulling you into a false sense of security. The track hit’s it’s mid-point with a burst of explosive thrashed-out energy that sounds like a suspension bridge collapsing in on itself, shards of twisted metal flying out in every conceivable direction.
As with their previous output, the tracks on Negative Feedback Resistor bleed into one anther so it’s hard to tell where one song ends and another begins. But this suits the disorientating nature of Destruction Unit’s main aesthetic and it’s a nicely head spinning experience, not least on the immersive ’Chemical Reaction / Chemical Delight’. This track is the equivalent to being lowered into a leather clad hell mouth, only to be squeezed out the other side in a sloppy, sludgy pile of cosmic matter.
Closing off with an unholy duo of ‘If Death Ever Slept’ and ‘The Upper Hand’, Destruction Unit go out the hardest and most fast paced they’ve ever been, with singer Ryan Rousseau truly unleashing his inner bile. The latter track harbours an energy that would undoubtedly be generated if Mudhoney ever started developing cosmic death rays and began firing them from a psychedelic space station.
In roughly 4 billion years, the sun will rapidly expand a into a super-massive ball of white hot nuclear energy and engulf planet Earth, and when it does, Negative Feedback Resistor will be the perfect soundtrack.