Back in 2000, the great punk rock sages known only as Tsar uttered a beckoning din. “Calling All Destroyers,” they cried! Now, some twenty years later, emerging from the wake and brine of the sea, comes a cleaving behemoth. What is the name of this salt chuck soaked beast? I dare not say it, but once… Superdestroyer!
Alright, time to wind this backbit. Superdestroyer is no leviathan. In fact, it’s just one very sensitive and soft-hearted person out of Ohio. Still, the project’s latest EP Such Joy can’t help but feel a little momentous. It is ostensibly an emo album, but one that flirts with degrees of post- and melo- hardcore, enhancing both with loops, samples, and sensibilities seemingly acquired during bouts of insomnia spent closely studying Massive Attack’s Mezzanine. This is especially evident on the haunting, washed-out, clip and moan of “Void.”
And in case you are wondering, the reference to Tsar at the beginning isn’t a bit. Superdestroyer also manages to capture the far-reaching bombast of early ’00s pop-punk and translate it into hooks that are amendable to the fans of the fifth wave variety of emo. And when it comes to emo’s root word (“Emotion”), there is a lot of it displayed here on Such Joy, uncomfortably so at times. Some of the things said on this record feel so candid that you might not be able to help but wince on your initial listen. This was definitely true for me when it comes to “I’m Sorry I Ruined Your Birthday,” where the songwriter asks for forgiveness for ruining a big occasion with the curse of their depression.
There aren’t many bands who I can think of who would be brash enough to start a record out with a mathy, sputter-core confessional like “The Afterlife is a Millisecond Perceived as an Eternity,” follow it up with the caustic and sing-songy, whine and growl of “When It Comes to Croquet (I’m fucking hardcore as shit),” and then wind down with the hypnotic, hymnal buzz of “Outer Space Disco Lemonade,” and the sunny, frank and fuzzy pop-punk of “Trippy Death,” all in the span of 15 minutes. But Superdestroyer is, in fact, that kind of a band, and Such Joy is as brief as it is exceptional.
Buy and stream Such Joy via Bandcamp below: