By Andy Osborn. It’s always fun when you can’t peg a band’s sound and influences. For three years now I’ve been listening to Take Over and Destroy and I still haven’t quite figured theirs out. Sometimes it’s frustrating, because listening to something recognizable and traceable is always easier, familiar.By Andy Osborn.
It’s always fun when you can’t peg a band’s sound and influences. For three years now I’ve been listening to Take Over and Destroy and I still haven’t quite figured theirs out. Sometimes it’s frustrating, because listening to something recognizable and traceable is always easier, familiar. But other times it’s exhilarating when you want something entirely different that keeps you guessing.
Their self-titled album doesn’t make make describing them any easier, but it’s so insanely fun that the necessary repeat listens have forced it into my regular rotation since its release. Like an American Kvelertak, they fuse black metal and old school rock with a painfully addictive result. A tinge of sludge mixed with Andy Labarbera’s sometimes-growl, sometimes-goth vocals are what push the Arizona crew into territory all their own. The upbeat, almost danceable dueling guitars are just the icing on the cake with almost too many ingredients, but they pull off the delicate recipe easily to claim territory in their own unique world.
Catchy riffs and horror movie lyrics, along with the occasional piano that has just the right tone to avoid the ironic synth-based bandwagon, TOAD write lean, interesting songs. They have just enough chorus heft and structure variability to be memorable while balancing that fine line of intensity and melody. “Bring Me The Rope” is the perfect example as it’s almost joyful in its depression; and ode to both suicide and the best that the 80s have to offer.
Blasts and double-kicks are rare, but Take Over and Destroy throw in just enough metal to tide over fans of the extreme while retaining enough badass rock ‘n’ roll that it’s a shock the Pitchfork crew hasn’t cast them as the hip flavor of the week. That may or may not be fortunate, but they certainly do deserve a wider audience. Eight years and three full-lengths into their career, it’s hard to imagine the band can do much more to set themselves apart. They’ve invented, nurtured, and perfected a sound all their own and although it won't appeal to all audiences, it's undoubtedly a unclassifiable gem.