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Crush Kill Destroy leaves it open to interpretation

Crush Kill Destroy is definitely up to something. With a name like that, you might assume it to be aggressively plowing through powerhouse songs describing demolition and cruel destruction. But you'd be wrong.

What it's musically scheming is as complex as it is subtle, as if it has just written the soundtrack to a brilliant yet seedy plot that it would love to tell you about, except then Crush Kill would have to kill you.

What the band is willing to reveal are their names -- Jacob Kart, Toby Summerfield, Brian Hacker, Chris Salmon -- and, on Tuesday, Feb. 14, the third full-length release, "Metric Midnight."

The band's first album for Milwaukee's No Karma Recordings, "Metric Midnight" is an undeniably forceful venture, but rather than maneuvering violently through their songs with a sort of scorched earth philosophy, the band harnesses its aggression, letting it seep out like a slow but unpatchable leak.

After a 15-second build up, the band dives into album opener, "Walter Mondale," with Kart's and Hacker's guitars seemingly racing each other -- with minor pushing and shoving along the way -- halting only long enough to allow Hacker to taunt, "If I stop, can you stop?"

Taking on a suave, seductive spoken-word feel, Hacker's vocals are only the focal point long enough to get their point across but then back off, letting the instrumental craft its own message. Confident and intense, his words swim through the layered guitars, conjuring the idea that maybe this is how Lou Reed might sound if he were fronting the band. Though fans of Reed -- Summerfield once played in a Velvet Underground cover band called "The Exploding Plastic Inevitable" -- Hacker says it isn't intentional.

"I believe that Lou Reed is one of the greatest American songwriters, at least during the Velvet Underground years, (but) I don't consciously draw from his style."

Originally hailing from Ann Arbor, Mich., the foursome relocated to Chicago in 2001 seeking opportunities that "A2," as the band calls it, couldn't provide.

"Regardless of where you are, there comes a time when you look to expand your audience," says Summerfield. "In a place like Ann Arbor, with its limited number of venues and smaller group of people who would potentially be interested in what you do, that time may have come a little sooner than in Chicago. Chicago gives us more avenues to expand than A2 did."

And for "Metric Midnight," Crush Kill tapped into some Wisconsin talent. Justin Perkins, of Madison's Smart Studios, mastered the CD, and if you look closely at the inside pages of the album art, you can just barely make out a book titled "Mastering a Record" by Justin Perkins.

"We like album art that you can come back to and keep finding something you didn't notice before,' says Summerfield of the layout, which reveals some sort of suspicious behavior involving a gas mask, a pet carrier, a metal brief case and full garbage bags.

"There's definitely a concept, but we left it open to interpretation. There's a plot, a narrative ... it has to do with what the album title means to us. We had fun with it -- the photo shoot took 26 hours and almost killed us. I guess if we had to sum the concept up with one word, that word would be 'rats.'"

Whatever. Crush Kill Destroy makes its way to Milwaukee on Saturday, Feb. 11 to play a show at UWM's 8th Note coffee shop at 8 p.m. with Knife Crazy and Relache. The Web site is crushkilldestroy.net.

Talkbacks

OMCreader | Feb. 9, 2006 at 11:30 a.m. (report)

eaglescout said: i like the album title. nervous about the music.

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