This Will Destroy You
Doug Fir, Portland, OR
18 March 2016
By: Meghan Kearney

This Will Destroy, straight out of The Lone Star State, are perhaps the most perfectly stitched together catalog of beauty, noise, and rock on the market. Avoiding falling prisoner to the post-rock genre so triumphantly boasted around Austin, TX, brought to mainstream audiences by the loved Explosions In The Sky, TWDY is for folks who want to feel a little less conventional. They don’t exactly fit into the mold of post-rock, and openly admit they may or may not abhor the classification. So let’s throw that right out the window. If post-rock was a family, think of Explosions as the older brother who can do nothing wrong in anyone’s eyes (but we all know how much of an ass hole he is), and TWDY is the rebellious younger brother who was listening to Fugazi at age 9 (not to say that Explosions are ass holes, or that TWDY in any way resembles Fugazi – but you get the idea).

DSCF2021Among and off the plot of four incredible LPs to their name, the Texan four-piece paid a visit to Portland, OR’s Doug Fir basement (which they do almost annually) to rattle everyone into an oblivion as I assume they never fail to do. This was my first time seeing these noise-rockers live, and they exceeded my expectations by a longshot.

I want to pick apart the setlist, get people arguing which “hits” were left out, which album deserves more attention with four oldies to choose from, which version of TWDY gets to show up – but the truth is, I can barely recall a single track that actually happened. The set was so entrancing as they shifted from the most silent, minimal, chords in split seconds to instantaneous in-your-face metal, that, in retrospect, it left nothing but a blur in my brain. I walked home from the show humming “The World is Our ____” and I’m almost positive they didn’t even play it (someone correct me if I’m wrong). What I knew and didn’t know of TWDY weaved in and out of my consciousness as I watched them performing before my eyes.

At first I felt a little disheartened walking away from the show with what felt like an empty hole in time – but I soon realized their set was so completely compelling that myself, and everyone in the room, was on another plain of thought. I imagine that is what it felt like to be hypnotized. I’m really not exaggerating.

DSCF2022I do indeed remember “A Three-Legged Workhorse,” well because of its more, dare I say “catchy” chords, and it was downright beautiful. As the four gentlemen hid beneath darkness, not a single stage light, only illuminated by color from projections catching their clothing,  everything was peaceful. Head lamps were even worn – fashion or because they literally couldn’t see their own instruments, you be the judge.

Visuals behind them appeared to me like a giant psychedelic retinal ultrasound (I don’t know; my mom’s an eyeball nurse, google it). Blues and purples, yellows and reds pulsated like visual static across the backdrop with the music as it slowed and exploded, slowed, and exploded.

I’m so glad I finally caught this band live, because they have given me a new perspective within this area of music. They make such hard music sound so beautifully orchestraic. I’m finding myself, post-TWDY show, wanting to drift slowly away from the Explosions version of post-rock step-by-step into metal music. I may never get quite that far, but TWDY might have been my gateway drug.

If you live in Europe – great news, they are headed your way. If not, they will probably be back soon, I can only hope. Here is on of my favorite full-spectrum tracks: