HWY-013: Devastations by Devastations
As the first band signed to the label on the strength of an unsolicited demo, Devastations have a long history with Brassland. Since forming, they’ve shifted their home base from Melbourne to Berlin to London, established their “cultdom” (Q Magazine), worked in fits and spurts, been on and off hiatus, and created a reputation for themselves as the consummate musicians’ musicians. A brief recap:
2004 – The year of the infamous demo. They crossed paths with Clogs while on tour in Europe. Wine was drunk, plots were hatched, and they decided to join the Brassland family.
2005 – Their sophomore album, Coal, is released, earning them the first of their two nominations for the prestigious Australian Music Prize (AMP), the antipodean equivalent to Britain’s Mercury Prize.
2006 – Coal is released stateside on Brassland and in Europe on Beggars Banquet, winning much critical praise. Pitchfork calls it “always dark, never a caricature…constantly engaging.” Magnet calls it “one of 2006’s most dramatic dark turns.” They tour with countrymen The Drones.
2007 – A year of non-stop activity. Highlights include gigs with Einsturzende Neubauten, Nine Inch Nails, and Scout Nibblett. They hit the festival circuit, including The Dirty Three-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in the UK.
2008 – They release their widely acclaimed third album, Yes, U, which Stereogum calls “one of our favorites of this young year.”
2009 – The band teams up with Blonde Redhead for the Dessner brothers-curated Dark Was the Night compilation benefiting the Red Hot Organization. The album makes many appearances on the years’ “best-of” lists.
2010 – The long overdue and highly anticipated release of their self-titled debut occurs on the Brassland label. In addition to being named “Album of the Year” by Rolling Stone (Germany) in 2004, Karen O (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) told Mojo that it was “the best thing she’d heard all year.”
If instant gratification is how you roll, you can hear a song from the album right here:Songs
1. He Wasn’t Like That When I Knew Him
3. Previous Crimes
4. Hold Me
6. You Can’t Reach Me Now
7. We Will Never Drink Again
8. Love Doesn’t End Like That
10. Sleeping Dogs