Are You Kidding Me? No.
01. Destroy Create Transform Sublimate
03. My Green Neighbour
04. Hosts, Rifles & Coke
06. Where the Things Have No Colour
07. Waterpark Bachelorette
08. Before, After and All Around
09. – (Obedience)
10. Are You Kidding Me? No.
It’s hard to describe the Italian insanity that is Destrage. While they have elements of Sikth, The Dillinger Escape Plan and alternative rock in their music, they have a very consistent sound somehow. They gained fame with their sophomore album The King Is Fat’N’Old in 2010 and now they’re faced with the critical moment in their career, can they follow it up with something equally good, if not better? Well, they’ve succeeded, Are You Kidding Me? No. is even crazier and catchier than their previous work. Am I kidding you? No.
While The King is Fat’N’Old was a great album chock full of memorable songs, it was also a bit inconsistent in its tone. Some songs were very heavy, whereas others were drawn out ballads. While variety is always great in an album, tying the two ends together properly is also paramount. Destrage’s newest album (henceforth to be called AYKMN) has a sound that is spread out in a better way than their previous work. The songs flow much better, and as blast beats turn into acoustic sections the seamlessness of it all never ceases to amaze. AYKMN is easily their most progressive work. The guitar work is crazy, being reminiscent of Sikth, yet having its own flavor. There is so much groove in every song, and the technical riffs contrast very well with the groovy parts and big choruses. There are a bunch of other elements thrown in there as well, the occasional salsa section, 80s influences and even some electronica that is tastefully done.
Vocalist Paolo Colavolpe deserves a lot of praise. He has high Sikth-esque screams, versatile clean vocals and even low growls. A lot of the songs have extremely memorable melodic sections that just beg to be sang along to, and his vocal delivery is what really sells them. The fact that he can also accompany breakdowns, Pantera-esque groovy riffs, straight-up Dillinger style insanity and everything else the band throws out there is a testament to how great he really is. While all of the riffing in the album is excellent and unforgettable, the vocals are just as important. Many bands often fall into the trap of emphasizing either the vocals or instruments, but Destrage offer a mix of the two that is just right.
While the music is incredible, there is also an issue with the album. Just like its predecessor, AYKMN’s production is a bit… odd. While everything is audible and nothing is over-produced like many of their modern contemporaries, the album is very noisy. The overbearing snare sound from TKIFAO is still present, if not as extreme as it used to be. The guitars are also slightly too fuzzy like the previous album. While these issues aren’t a huge deal in a vacuum, they make listening to the album for extended lengths quite tiresome, and if the abrasiveness of the sound was curbed a bit, it would have sounded perfect. It’s definitely a minor issue and not a deal-breaker though.
In the end, this album is great. It’s easily Destrage’s best work yet, full of simultaneously catchy and crazy tunes. Every song is extremely memorable and enjoyable to hum along to. The way Destrage blend the best elements from many genres to create accessible yet interesting songs is definitely something that needs to be heard to be believed. Are You Kidding Me? No. is a masterful mix of insanity and catchiness at their best.
Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No. gets…