Destroyalldreamers: Wish I Was All Flames
Where Are My Records

Founded in the summer of 2002 in Montreal, instrumental outfit Destroyalldreamers follows its 2004 full-length debut À Cœur Léger Sommeil Sanglant with Wish I Was All Flames. In some ways, it's a bittersweet recording—at least for the listener—as the album marks the end of a chapter in the band's story with it having publicly declared its intention to explore new sonic territories in 2008. The incarnation heard on Wish I Was All Flames—Eric Quach and Mathieu Grisé on guitars, bassist Michèle Martin, and drummer Shaun Doré—generates enthralling tracks that often open forcefully and then detonate even more anthemically. The group opts for a blurry style that invites the “shoegaze” label but the term itself, while not inaccurate, is limiting. Destroyalldreamers might best be described as an instrumental quartet that shares an affinity for guitar-generated walls of sound (a liner note tellingly reports that “twenty-four effects pedals were harmed in the making of this record”).

One-half minute into the opening title track, wailing guitars, bass, and drums lock ferociously into position and Destroyalldreamers' energetic live attack floods the room, just as it will for the subsequent forty-seven minutes. Wish I Was All Flames isn't a relentless onslaught, however: “Cendres En Transe” slows the pace with its plodding tempo, and the three-part closer “Her Brother Played the Riot” works a goodly share of atmospheric soundscaping into its sixteen epic minutes (especially during the graceful central section where searing guitar lines arc and swoop). If there's a downside to Wish I Was All Flames, it's that many tracks are in the four-minute range, which in another context would be admirable; here, though, one wishes the band would give itself more room to stretch out and let the pieces build (as it does in the glorious “Perdre Est Une Question De Méthode”). At the same time, the group carefully sequences the album so that one piece flows almost uninterruptedly into the next, enabling the listener to experience Wish I Was All Flames as an extended suite more than separate songs.

February 2008