Supporters of Destroyer mastermind Dan Bejar have been regaled with enough material over the previous two years to keep even the smallest fan site busy. Between the New Pornographers' 2005 Bejar-heavy Twin Cinema and the Destroyer/Frog Eyes EP Notorious Lightning and Other Works, the hyper-literate, Bowie-loving Canadian has been on a roll. Destroyer's Rubies, his fifth full-length offering, is an amalgam of Streethawk: A Seduction's glam rock posturing, This Night's guitar-heavy psychedelia, and Your Blues' apocalyptic wordplay. Bejar's imagery is as impenetrable and volatile as ever -- "Dueling cyclones jackknife/They got eyes for your wife and the blood that lives in her heart" -- but musically, he's forged a solid enough foundation to ground it. Part of Bejar's charm comes from his innate ability to balance sadistic verse, music geek grandstanding, and bawdy refrains with enough major seventh chords to score a full season of Brady Bunch segues -- "A Dangerous Woman Up to a Point"'s pre-chorus crescendo declares "Those who love Zeppelin will eventually betray Floyd/I cast off those couplets in honor of the void" before exploding into "I pictured heaven on earth made of clay, as your form dictated." Rubies is heavy on pop craft, with standout cuts like "European Oils," "3000 Flowers," and the manic title track echoing 2005's "Broken Breads" and "Streets of Fire," but it's more than just the art-house theater to the Pornographers' Twin Cinema, it's the absinthe-drunk projectionist reveling in the sheer hedonism of it all.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger