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Blitzen Trapper: Destroyer of the Void

Sub Pop

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Destroyer of the Void, the fifth full-length from Portland, Ore.'s Blitzen Trapper, is as faithful an exercise in straight-up classic rock as we've seen from the group thus far. The first and title track is a six-minute multi-part endeavor that takes obvious cues from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," and it's a pretty good indicator of what's to follow. At times, the album feels bloated, like the band has bitten off more than it can comfortably chew, as in the swelling (and swollen) "Heaven and Earth." But at others it is scaled back and stunning, like in the folky "The Tree," or "Evening Star," which is reminiscent of Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" in the best kind of way. Destroyer somehow seems at once like the band's most singular artistic statement and, due largely to the weird track sequencing, its most ramshackle bunch of recordings. It's far from perfect, but the best moments make it worthwhile. 3 out of 5 stars.

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