Destroyer’s Poison Season: Album spotlight

Dan Bejar, who plays Thalia Hall tonight, makes fascinating music performing as Destroyer.

My friend Andersonville Dan and I recently broke down what we like about the latest Destroyer album, Poison Season. The release is a follow-up to another intriguing Bejar record, the 2011 album Kaputt.

Punks: Poison Season has a distinct ’70s vibe. The track Times Square sounds like a Lou Reed number from the early ’70s. That song speaks to the gritty Times Square from Reed’s New York rather than the sanitized version today. Midnight Meet the Rain is another highlight.

AD: Midnight Meet the Rain is the best. Even the title sounds like a ’70s crime movie I’d Kill to see.

He is picking up where he left off on Kaputt. He absolutely nails the moody, seedy sounds with the squealing horns. Then there’s Dream Lover, which has an E Street Band greeting followed by dueling forces of strings and percussion.

Punks: Dream Lover is one of my favorite tracks on this album — and one of my favorite songs this year. It does have that E Street Band sound, which is interesting since Bejar told the New York Times that he never really cared for the Boss.

For me, what distinguishes Poison Season from Kaputt is the choice of instruments. Kaputt has a lot of synthesizer, while the new album relies more heavily on piano, horns, guitar and other traditional instruments. Lyrically, the last two albums have a lot more in common.

Negative Scanner’s self-titled debut: Album spotlight

One of the best albums released this summer and a contender for best punk LP of the year is the self-titled debut of Chicago’s Negative Scanner.

From lead singer Rebecca Valeriano-Flores’ ferocious and earnest vocals to the frenetic pace of the music to the general ethos of this band, Negative Scanner needs to be heard.

Clocking in under 30 minutes, there’s not a single throwaway song on this album. I highly recommend it.