REVIEW: Destination Oblivion “Thirteen Beginnings to the End”

By JHR

Chain Border

Thirteen Beginnings to the EndThis is... Odd. It must have taken ages and a reasonable amount of care and money to make the recording sound quite as cheap and nasty and post-punk scratchy as it does. (The first track, Destination, borrows oddly from the Kursaal Flyers.)

Another odd thing is the ambience, which is... Disturbing. I get the distinct impression that most bands consider that the listener is most likely to be disturbed by sheer volume or amount of creative swearing committed to disc. Destination Oblivion seem to have worked out that making it sound like the guitars are being played through a knackered amplifier turned up to 15 that's at the far end of a deserted turbine hall from the microphone, and playing the keyboard at 90 degrees to reality or the rest of the tune, is a Good Thing.

It's sort of a bit like very early Pink Floyd being played by a revolutionary socialist faction of Daleks who don't like Pink Floyd very much, but have set out grimly determined to prove a point. And then it's not.

Right this very second, there's some odd Mark Stewart and Underworld noises going on underneath the turbine-hall guitar. I'm assuming a live audience standing there, slack-jawed with amazement. Or going, 'Hey! I ordered a cheeseburger!' (There's a sad lack of entertaining heckling these days. It's a bit poor when the band on stage hogs all the good lines.)

Destination OblivionI note from the publicity bumph (yes, I bothered to dig it out and read it, just for a change) that the band consider themselves 'industrial metal.' I beg leave to point out that they're a lot better than that. If I were going to draw comparisons with other 'scene' bands, I'd be inclined to think that the sort of people who dig Arkham Asylum would consider this lot a splendid racket too. In point of fact, that would be a damn fine gig to go along to... (Bloody hell! They've just turned into The Janitors! Rock! The track's called Shell and seems to mark the debut of a style akin to industropunkabilly. Studded quiffs a-go-go!)

If there's anything to be mildly concerned about, it's that there's a paucity of singing. Ok, so we're all used to being harangued from the stage – clearly at some stage a law was passed that there's a quota system for the employment of angry bus-station nutters and a lot of them ended up fronting industrial bands and writing songs like, 'Are you looking at my crisps?' 'Ah fookin see you yer Wolverhampton fucker you' and 'Bananas are the instruments of satan!' But there's a limit to the amount of that sort of thing that a fellow can stand before he wanders off and listens to handbag-techno for respite.

[Pause.] Sorry – I had to listen to Buried properly again. It sounds slightly like...I'm not sure what. The lyrics appear to have been dictated by the bloke who's convinced that MI5 are paying newsreaders to take the piss out of him and destroy his life. Tendencies seems to have lyrics by a chap who's convinced that the uneasy spirit of William Burroughs is paying newsreaders to look at him in a funny way and destroy his life.

What is it about industrial bands that makes me obsess about bus-station loonies and cider-drinking tramps? I'm probably supposed to be thinking about having sex with machinery or being crushed by the wheels of industry... No, that was Heaven 17. Oh, anyway. Consider buying this if you like the idea of a post-punkish noise made by bipolar people.

Contact Information:
Post: Destination Oblivion, PO Box 33747, Portland, OR, 97292-3747, USA
Phone: (503) 777-5320
E-Mail: dennis@destinationoblivion.net
Web: www.destinationoblivion.net

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