Top Five Must-See Shows This Week in Phoenix
Monday, February 25: Destruction Unit @ Yucca Tap Room
Long before Pitchfork was taking notice, Ryan "Elvis Wong" Rousseau was blazing his own sun-baked psych-punk path. The band stretches back to the early Aughts, but it was with 2010's Eclipse that its current incarnation took shape. Gone were the spastic freakouts; in their place was stoned and deliberate riff rock, with long, winding guitar excursions roaring over motorik beats and coursing with sandy mysticism. 2011's Sonoran furthered the droning exploration, a six-song -- mostly instrumental -- effort clocking in at 44 minutes.
With the brand-new Void, Destruction Unit furthers its connection to the Ascetic House collective, and the record is the band's most expansive work yet. Opening ripper "Evil Man" speeds along at a brisk pace, guitars phasing and echoing, obscuring Rousseau's throaty tenor. Swampy soundscape "Druglore" expands the band's stylistic template, with bubbling electronics and skeletal guitar figures pulsing over a feedback drone. Eight-minute-plus closer "Smoke Dreams" marries blaring psych rock to tense post-punk melodies. It might be the best thing Destruction Unit has recorded yet.
The band releases Void at Yucca Tap Room, before embarking on a tour that finds the group sharing stages with Merchandise and Milk Music. --Jason P. Woodbury
2155 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ