Destroyalldreamers: À Coeur Léger Sommeil Sanglant (Where Are My Records, 2004)
Destroyalldreamers formed in 2002 in Montreal with Shaun Dore and Eric Quach, and Michele Martin and Mathieu Grise soon followed to fill out the line up. Their first full length is entitled À Coeur Léger Sommeil Sanglant and is a shoegaze instrumental tour de force. This instrumental dream of a record is brilliantly executed, and, frankly, if I would have heard it last year, I may have opted for it to be in our top ten. This disc contains oceans of reverb, soundscapes, and lush brushes of brilliance.
À Coeur Léger Sommeil Sanglant begins with “Zeta Reticuli Express”. This has a quiet, shimmering beginning that moves along at a medium pace. The guitars vibrate and the bass ties the percussion and soundscapes together nicely. There is a sort of wintry air about the track. It is patient and not overdone, making it a beautiful introduction to this disc. Eventually, the drums grow more aggressive and the guitars moved into an angrier mode. This ends with a ghost-like drone. “Orage” begins with shimmering guitars and the song progresses beautifully with all the makings of a Slowdive instrumental. The central hook of the song is awesome and catchy and it really flows with the melody created by the intertwined guitars. The variations on the musical structure really keep this track alive and vibrant throughout. About mid-song, the track really quiets down and has an almost “restart” to it. It really gives the listener a breather at the perfect time. The peacefulness found at this point in the recording reminds me of my favorite winter drives and the last vestiges of birds floating overhead, moving toward the south.
“Victoire sur le Soleil” is a brief track that begins with a sort of march tempo that brings the listener into some fabulous percussion. The build is subtle, but happens quicker. This quick build is breathtaking and I would image that their walls of sound live must take the breath out of the listeners. One guitar really lays a foundation for the other to float over while the percussion and bass tie everything together. “Facultatives Imaginaires, en Robe et en Eclats” starts with sparse, almost jazz style drumming. This track has floating, ethereal guitars that are light, airy and pensive. It’s a beautiful and haunting track. This is a track that is about nine minutes and the ocean of sounds they use are perfect. Again, there are variations in the general groundwork of the track and they really know how to be patient and keep things interesting. The drums fade out and the track disappears with shimmering guitars. “The Sky was Glorious for a Moment” has swirling reverb and a slow, trip hop type of beat. It really brings all their elements together nicely.
“Destroy All Dreamers” begins with quite pensiveness and accents of bass. The drums come in and a melancholy shimmer takes on the role of the music bed floating about for the rest of the music to float on. There is urgency in the music that sits within the sounds, not within the speed or loudness of the song. Destroyalldreamers is able to create a beautiful edge with the sounds and chord progressions rather than with loudness and speed. It’s quite breathtaking to hear. “Swirling Colours Sink” begins with violin type sounds and the march of the snare drum. The guitars vibrate over intricate, careful percussion. The static they use in the song moves among the cracks of the dreamy guitars that jangle amidst one another. This seven minute song is gorgeous and does not disappoint. I can’t believe this band has been together for such a short time. Their compositions are intricate and stunning. Eventually, the band builds into a huge wall of sound that finishes the track as it peters out.
“Sombrer dans la Folie” has a very different feel to it. The drums are more world music style with a tribal kind of beat with the guitars mimicking the tempo and beat with their jangly expressions. This song has shorter moments with variation between a softer, more broken down feel and a louder more aggressive set of guitars and percussion. The slide work on the bass is also a very nice touch to this track. “Ghost Guitar in the Shell” ends this album and is perhaps an obvious reference to a Japanese Anime film called Ghost in the Machine. The percussion is simple and sparse with guitars picking and shimmering over it. The feel of this song changes at about the half-way point and it picks up speed and the guitars soar. The ending begins to feel like a train running full steam down the track. The track ends with ambient, almost violent soundscapes that are very electronic in their feel.
This is an entirely solid album from start to finish. Some have said that this may have been the best shoegaze album of 2004 and I can’t see how I could argue with that. For such a young band, this album has a mature sound and I can’t wait to hear what they do next!