[26 September 2011]
This pleasing debut succeeds as wallflower music that remains emotionally interesting. Chicago trio To Destroy a City creates ambient post-rock that uses an interplay of epic musical colours to build variations on simple themes. Waves of distortion swell to profound conclusions on tracks like “Before the Outside’s Gone” and “Narcotic Sea”. This reviewer was particularly pleased to hear that “Ilium”, the only non-instrumental track on the album, features a recitation of a passage from the T.S. Eliot poem “The Hollow Men”. The pulsing rhythms of “The Marvel’s of Modern Civilization” move toward electronica territory, evoking a night-time cityscape of the future. To Destroy a City creates a lush sonic vibe; the band’s use of percussion sounds and ability to steer away from instrumental doldrums are a bit reminiscent of Sigur Rós. Despite a few meandering passages, the music develops nicely. Fans of Trent Reznor, Hammock, and the aforementioned Sigur Rós will be compelled to spin this late into the night hours.