Southwestern France has a wealth of cultural heritage throughout its regions. Along with its cities being home to some of the most gorgeous architecture in Western Europe, it’s also home to three misanthropes, collectively named Destination Lonely, who’ve been punishing audiences with the most apathetic garage punk brought to market.
The Toulouse/Bordeaux based trio’s decade long reign of “heroin groove” continues with their third full-length album, Nervous Breakdown, seeing release via longtime home Voodoo Rhythm Records. Destination Lonely isn’t new to the block and has a long and overlooked history within their country’s underground circuit with time spent in groups such as The Fatals, The Beach Bitches, and Jerry Spider Gang, among others.
Not straying from their recognizable grunge n’ twang sound, they incorporate psych-rock elements in Nervous Breakdown, which broadens and (barely) brightens their sound.
Nervous Breakdown is also their most ambitious release, clocking in at 66 minutes in length. The lo-fi production value along with the songwriting’s bleak and aggressive subject matter gives off a subversive feel when stacked against most of today’s bands in the same genre and the “hit it and quit it” upbeat vibe.
More importantly, they play as if they’re angry and make you feel it from start to finish. The standout track is the album’s second take at the title track, the “big band” version, which is a 13-minute space rock freakout consisting of a droning organ teamed up with a screaming guitar played through a wah pedal.
With no bass player on this album, the trio substitute low-end with overall loudness and demonstrate so on the explosive title track in part due to the dominant chords from Marco Fatal (guitars/vocals) and Lo Spider (guitars/organ/backing vocals/percussion).
They even experiment with a backwoods sound a la Beasts Of Bourbon on the bluesy “Blind Man” and the desperate “In That Time.” Their covers of both The Troggs “I Want You” and The Stooges “Ann” contain more reverberation than what the original renditions held, giving both a heavy psychedelic appeal.
Nervous Breakdown is a raw-sounding record, bottom line. Whether these three planned it to sound this way or all this stems from their subconscious, it definitely grabs your attention and shows how against the grain they are. Then again, when you’re from a nation where rebellion and political/social discontent is part of your identity, it only makes sense they’re naturally like this.