Destroy All Monsters - Bored (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Destroy All Monsters

Bored (1999)

Cherry Red Records

How is it that Destroy All Monsters, featuring Ron Asheton from the Stooges and Michael Davis from the MC5, never got to release a full-length album? The band existed for about 12 years yet consistently got underrated. Granted, the Stooges didn't exactly sell like gangbusters when they first came around, but the years have since preserved their legacy. It's time for Asheton's other project, DAM, to get some recognition.

There are a lot of bootlegs floating around of various DAM recordings, but not everyone needs a triple-disc live/demo collection. Bored, though, is a solid start. It doesn't compile every DAM song, but the band recorded so sporadically that any complete collection would fluctuate wildly in terms of fidelity. Consisting of just seven tracks, and not a single one a dud, Bored makes the argument for DAM's legacy.

The first track, "Bored," is guided by lead singer Niagara's atonal, apathetic vocals. No wonder Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore released a DAM compilation of his own; some of these tunes sound like proto-Kim Gordon. Still, though, that guitar line is so clearly Asheton's work. It's primal and fiery. The rest of the band has more of a post-punk thing going on, but Asheton just keeps raging. Same thing happens on "You're Gonna Die."

Admittedly, DAM's lyrics are a little weak. The choruses to "Bored," "You're Gonna Die" and "Nobody Knows" are more or less just their respective titles repeated over and over. Some tunes, like the nearly five-minute "Meet the Creeper," have a rambling quality. Nothing tests one's patience like, say, the Stooges' "We Will Fall," but some of these songs end a couple of times before they're actually over.

Still, for those enthralled with the Stooges' ferocity, Bored offers a chance to hear a little bit more from Asheton. The guy went a long way towards inventing punk rock, and hearing him play a part, however small, in building post-punk is interesting.