Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bay of Pigs EP

When Dan Bejar dropped 2004's "Your Blues", it was obvious he was going somewhere interesting, and he did: over the next four years he released the loud, involving "Destroyer's Rubies" followed by last year's slower, hazy "Trouble in Dreams" - both albums full of serious highlights with no filler.

But finally, in August, Bay of Pigs EP was released. It's about as long as your average EP, although the duration is divided between only two songs: the title track and Trouble in Dreams' track "Rivers" reworked into slow dive "Ravers".

First off, Bay of Pigs is one of the best Destroyer songs, ever. Described in most places as Ambient Disco, the track is really too eclectic to classify, that title only hinting at where it goes. Opening with a droning synth phasing in and out, Bejar leads you through gentle beeps and bleats, strumming almost dance-worthy bare bones rock and finally hits you with a sudden stop and ambient fadeout. If it sounds disjointed, it isn't. With Dan Bejar's inpenetrable lyrics and unique rhythm of speaking, despite registering almost 14 minutes, I repeatedly found myself suprised that the song was even over.

"Magnolia's a girl. Her heart's made of wood.
As apocalypses go, that's pretty good.
Sha-la-la, wouldn't you say?"

Second track "Ravers" picks and chooses the best bits of Rivers and slows it down to a trickle, bubbling along on dreamy dabs of bass and erupting into quite an unexpected and beautiful crescendo, and the only bad thing that could be said about it is that compared to Bay of Pigs it doesn't seem quite so incredible - but that has more to do with the achievements of the title track, which I would say is a genuine contender for the best of the year.