Minneapolis has a knack for surprising us with its rock scene. I’ve found myself repeatedly drawn to the dynamic acts emerging from this city. It’s not typically the first place that springs to mind for hard rock fans, yet here I am, about to delve into another Minneapolis marvel. And looking back on 2023 as it comes to an end, I’ve found a few great bands from that location this past year.
And if there’s one thing you guys know that I really love, it’s fusion genres and bands. They’re like the culinary experiments of the music world – sometimes, you get a dish that’s just… wow. Destroy the Planet does exactly that with their album, ‘Episode 1: Hungry for the Science’. It’s a blend that’s both fresh and familiar, stirring up a whirlpool of genres that is downright awesome. And something I’ve not really heard before. Or rather, not like this.
This album is a mash-up of metal, pop, and old-school punk rock, and it’s an exploration beyond these boundaries, weaving in elements that evoke a sense of nostalgia, yet it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what from. The nuances are subtle but impactful, creating an feel that’s both new and reminiscent of something from the ‘Mr Big era’ of rock.
‘Episode 1: Hungry for the Science’ takes you on a ride through the unexpected, showcasing the band’s ability to blend genres without losing their distinct edge. It’s shows to their creativity and fearlessness in experimenting with their music. I mean after all, metal, hardrock, punk, and pop is not a mix you hear everyday.
When I first hit play on ‘Twisted’, the opening track, I was greeted by an unexpected twist – a static-like radio signal, voiced by none other than former NFL player Pete Bercich. It felt like a prelude to something big, something imminent.
And big it was. The track launches into a storm of guitar riffs and percussion that hits hard and fast. It’s like opening a door to a room where every sound wave packs a punch. The guitar work in ‘Twisted’ stands out remarkably. Each riff, each solo, is crafted with a level of skill and energy that’s hard to ignore. It’s an art form, a display of mastery over strings and notes.
As an opener, ‘Twisted’ does an incredible job of setting the tone for the album. It throws you right into the deep end of their vision. It’s clear from this track alone that Destroy the Planet isn’t here to play it safe.
“Control”, another standout track, begins with an otherworldly sound. As for the song itself, reminiscent of a Billy Idol track but cranks up the intensity several notches. The guitar work in “Control” truly shines. It’s not just the technical brilliance on display in the solo that grabs me; it’s the attention to detail, the little nuances that give it a unique character. A lot of highs, twists and turns. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Thematically, “Control” seems to delve into themes of struggle, resilience, and a refusal to succumb. It’s about the fight within, a battle against constraints and limitations, whether they be external or internal. The song conveys a sense of someone on the brink, teetering on the edge but refusing to fall.
Maybe it’s tumultuous relationship – perhaps not just with another person, but with one’s own self. It talks about moments of near surrender, yet there’s a prevailing attitude of defiance and determination. It’s about standing your ground, even when the ground seems to be crumbling beneath you.
“Reach”, the fourth track on the album, marks a distinct shift in the sound of Destroy the Planet. After the thrash and hard rock elements of the previous songs, “Reach” throws us back to the heyday of punk rock. It’s a refreshing change of pace that showcases the band’s versatility. The punk rock influence is unmistakable and gives the song an energetic, raw feel that’s different from the rest of the album. What really stands out in “Reach” are the vocal harmonies. They add a layer of emotion to the track, enriching the punk rock sound with a modern twist. T
Thematically, “Reach” seems to grapple with the concept of disillusionment and the struggle to grasp something that’s just out of reach. It reflects on the journey from innocence to experience, highlighting the changes and challenges that come with that transition. The song suggests a sense of realization and acceptance, acknowledging that some things, no matter how much we want them, might always remain just beyond our grasp.
The punk rock sound, known for its raw energy and straightforward approach, complements the theme perfectly. It captures the frustration and urgency of chasing something elusive, something that’s always just a little out of reach.
When I first heard “The Worst”, it immediately took me back to the mid-90s style of rock – a sound I’ve sorely missed. The track stands out for its acoustic-driven approach, a stark contrast to their typically heavier sound we’ve gotten thus far. It almost seems like it’s a nod to a bygone era, executed with a modern flair. The acoustic guitar in “The Worst” is the heart of the song. It’s refreshing to hear a band known for their heavier sound take a step back and explore the quieter, more introspective side of rock.
Listening to the song, it feels like it delves into themes of introspection, resilience, and the inevitability of change. Sorting through the past, acknowledging the challenges, and pondering the uncertainty of the future. It’s about confronting the unknown and asking, “What’s the worst that can happen?” The guitar solo in “The Worst” deserves special mention. Really loved this song.
Moving onto ‘Time’ it’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head, especially the chorus. There’s something about the way it’s crafted that makes it linger in your mind long. It’s insanely catchy. The overall feel of “Time” is one of confrontation and catharsis. It seems to delve into themes of betrayal, inner conflict, and the struggle to break free from negative influences.
The song portrays a narrative of pushing away something—or someone—toxic, a metaphorical “eclipse” of one’s soul. It’s about recognizing the darkness in a relationship or situation and finding the strength to step away. Musically, “Time” captures the essence of punk rock with its raw energy and straightforward approach.
After diving deep into ‘Episode 1: Hungry for the Science’, I can confidently say it’s been an fantastic listning experience. This album is a rollercoaster of sound, encapsulating everything I love about rock music.
One of the strongest points of this album is its versatility. From the thrash (yeah, a little bit of thrash there) and hard rock vibes of tracks like “Twisted” to the nostalgic punk rock tones of “Reach” and the acoustic depth in “The Worst”, this album traverses a wide spectrum of rock genres. It’s not often that you come across an album that can effectively blend so many different styles while maintaining a coherent and engaging overall sound.
Another highlight for me has been the incredible guitar work. Whether it’s the intricate solos or the driving acoustic rhythms in other tracks, the guitar elements in this album are a big time showcase to the band’s musical skills.
And let’s not forget about the band’s presence. Having seen a few videos and clips of their live performances, it’s evident that Destroy the Planet is a force to be reckoned with on stage. Their energy and charisma make their music come alive in a way that’s just gripping. It looks as if they’re performers who know how to own the stage, making their live shows a must-see. A fantastic album, from a fantastic band.