The Destroyers: Hole In The Universe

Brummie collective are back: kitchen sink included.

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Hailing from Birmingham, this 15-strong line-up pull in a myriad of extra-curricular references, many of which appear pretty incongruous at first glance. Their second album showcases their uninhibited, high-octane combination of klezmer, rock, folk and anything else that isn’t nailed down as they blast by.

Poet Paul Murphy’s gravel-voiced insights are both humorous and thought-provoking. As a frontman he occupies the role of a surreal ringmaster, like Captain Beefheart calling out the steps at a ceilidh.

Perhaps their closest comparator might be Bellowhead who, in the folk world, pepper traditional tunes with anything from smatterings of reggae to runaway rock beats. Closer still would be the late-80s UK jazz outfit Loose Tubes or Belgium’s Flat Earth Society, whose omnivorous, no-holds-barred polyglot stylings rule any musical conflation as fair game.

An album probably isn’t the best medium through which to experience their brand of wryly manufactured mayhem, but with the searing and intense musicality displayed here, The Destroyers certainly have the mercurial capacity to go wherever their fancy takes them.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.