Dan Bejar has been putting out music for over fifteen years under the name Destroyer; essentially, that means he has pumping out indie music ever since a little movie entitled Braveheart was released. That is a long time. This was a faraway time where Mel Gibson had not yet gone ape-shit and “social networking” meant hanging around the water-cooler. Let’s just say Destroyer is a mature band that has experimented with all types of sounds and if it was a smooth bachelor, it would know all the moves to get you in the sack.
The band’s lucky thirteenth release, Kaputt, starts off by seducing the listener. The opener “Chinatown” gives the listener exactly what they want to hear: a nice rhythmic guitar, polished vocals, and even accents of horns. Just when you think you are being sweet-talked, your suspicions are confirmed with the following fantastic single “Blue Eyes”. A song that was taken straight out of the 1950s via a weird Sammie Kaye time machine. The accompanying female vocals on the track are magnificent. “Savage Night of The Opera” and probably the best song on the album, “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker”, are pure delights and the first half of the album takes you to a time where music uplifted spirits and was amorous.
Unfortunately, the second half of the album aside from the fantastic closer “Bay of Pigs” shows a loss of steam and lyrics like “Wasting your days/Chasing some girls/Alright/Chasing cocaine to the back-rooms of the world all night” followed by the overuse of jazz horns is to the narrowest of margins pleasing. It is as though Destroyer made two albums; the first half of Kaputt is the correct way to make a reappraising of 1950s-esque music and the second half is littered with mediocre jazz.
All in all, it is okay because as the album closes, Destroyer has delivered the hits just like any crafty veteran manages to do in the time it is given. Kaputt is a blast; the musicianship for the most part is great, lyrics are interesting albeit a few eye-rolling moments, and there are a handful of catchy singles.