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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
True If Destroyed
True If Destroyed
Franklin Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

February 18, 2005
True If Destroyed is an intense punk band from Philadelphia who knows how to craft a snappy and vibrant song as well create some smashing CD packaging.

I'll get to the music later, but first: The pseudo digipack cardboard booklet is simple in design, though its solid interior is a unique departure from the usual; it impresses me that the band approaches its CD release as a complete idea… a synthesis of music and packaging if you will. Nice.

However for most, a turd wrapped in a shiny box is still a turd, so it's the music that matters most. Far from being a turd, True If Destroyed's music is angular and brash punk rock with raw energy and enthusiasm.

Immediate comparisons to Pretty Girls Make Graves come to mind. Certainly this idea is fostered by the caterwauling tag team male/female vocals and guitar work. The shouting matches on the songs can, and do, get old occasionally, but most often the short vocal blasts are rescued by some melodic crooning from keyboardist and vocalist, Julia.

The balance of melody and dissonance on these songs is precarious as the band never fully lets pop sensibility run wild, but nor does it surrender completely to abrasiveness. A touch of both makes the highlight of the album, and allows True If Destroyed to walk a fine line between angular post-hardcore and more accessible punk.

"Synapses Firing" is the callout anthem that channels a bit of Fugazi and making these Philadelphians sound a bit like DC transplants. The highlight is about two minutes in, when the guitars and keyboard kick in and bring it back for a screaming/singing vocal reprise. It's the best example of the heights this band can reach. The closer, "Like it's Our Last," soars as well with jolting rhythms; it is the emotional anchor of a solid record. True If Destroyed rarely lets up on the ferocity within its debut. It's a smart and energetic offering from a group to keep an eye on.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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