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photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Destruction Unit @ The Studio at Webster Hall - 7/3/14
Destruction Unit are in town for their label Ascetic House's long Independence Day Weekend in NYC which so far has included two NYC shows. First they played The Studio at Webster Hall on Thursday night (7/3) and then a daytime show on the Fourth at Silent Barn. As we guessed, they're also sticking around for a third show TONIGHT (7/7) at Baby's All Right which has now been officially announced and also features White Hills and Ancient Ocean. Tickets for tonight's show are available. Show flyer below.
Destruction Unit don't really have "off nights" as far as I've seen, but Thursday's show was definitely an "on night." The band played with minimal lighting save for a projector coating the members with the lines from their optical illusion-inducing album cover and the occasional flashing of bright whites. Their show is as much a physical thing as it is a sonic assault, with guitarists Jes Aurelius and Nick Nappa waving their guitars in the air and singer/guitarist Ryan Rousseau delivering all attitude and manic aggression. The three guitars are all out in space, piling on endless layers of psychedelic atmospheres, as the bassist and drummer keep the band locked in, driving, and somewhat grounded on earth. It was the kind of set that in just about a half hour inspired fist pumping, headbanging, and moshing, as well as total spacing and tripping out.
Probably the most likeminded artist to Destruction Unit at the Studio show was the first band, Brooklyn's Honey. They also mixed psychedelia and punk, but were more psychedelic in a '60s throwback way with a ton of acid-soaked wah pedal guitar solos. They were great. Then came The Men/Drunkdriver-related duo Uniform who have been playing a lot lately (and will again soon), and gave another of their short-but-sweet sets of mechanic noise with Michael Berdan's deranged-hardcore-frontman-style delivery. Direct support was an ambient set from Coil/Psychic TV's Drew McDowall. Pictures of all four sets from the Studio show are in this post.
Destruction Unit at Silent Barn - 7/4/14 (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
The next day Destruction Unit helped celebrate America's independence as part of an all-day show at Silent Barn that also featured Mutual Benefit, Potty Mouth, a solo set from Lauren of Worriers, and a bunch more. They went on early (around 6 PM) and it was bright as day in Silent Barn with the venue's back window open, but D Unit were just as much a thrill to watch in the light as they were in the previous show's darkness. The way they jam on their songs makes every Destruction Unit show a different one, and they change up the setlist too (the Silent Barn show opened with "Evil Man" which I hadn't heard them play in a while). Once again it was guitars everywhere, both literally and sound-wise, and still a treat even if you had seen them 17 hours earlier.
Marshtepper at Palisades (via Ric Leichtung)
Much later that night (around 1 AM), D Unit members Jes Aurelius and Nick Nappa graced new-ish Bushwick venue Palisades with a set from their Marshstepper project. Jes and Nick provided an electronics/noise set but more than anything else the show was performance art that included a nude man writhing on the ground and lots of blood. One person called it one of the weirdest shows they'd ever been to and another said seeing it was possibly the best idea ever.
Then on Sunday, D Unit drummer Andrew Flores took his Jock Club project to Bossa Nova Civic Club for a late show with Bookworms, Soren and Encapsulate. Anyone catch that one?
Like we said above, you can get tickets to catch D Unit in NYC again tonight (7/7). More pictures from the Studio show below...