Destroy All Gondolas – S/T 7″

Man, seriously, various things were sprayed out of our pants in laughter at this band's name.  This was then followed by further confoundment when the press release was scoped from Kornalcielo Records, reading simply that these Italian crazymen played punk/surf/hardcore with a dose of Satanic imagery.  "Really," we thought, "It's either a joke or completely stupid."  Let's face it, surf music was pretty much a kook in the waves during a hurricane, so to think anyone would make a serious attempt at utilizing anything beyond tremolo from that genre was shocking.  The fact it even lasted past one band in its heyday is even more shocking, and then shocking beyond that to the point of heart attack are these guys, who consider themselves hardcore surf punk as they attempt to bring back those days with images of the horned beast all over their artwork.  Looking at it, there's a sense of self-deprecation and humor so we figured, "well, why not?"  Maybe they have something to say.  So we placed this one in and gave it a spin...

  

Still spinning it, too.  Destroy All Gondolas actually released this material on a now-sold-out cassette from 2013 entitled Blast Tapes.  Other than the intro, the majority of the material from that yellow, plastic beauty is featured here on this 7" wonder from the putrid canals of Venice (Borgo Venezia) where filth and tourists combine.  Considering the gondola is one of the most well-known cultural images from the area, what better image to tear to pieces and blaspheme in ridiculous ways?  You wouldn't expect much out of something like this, which shamelessly considers itself part of a dead rock movement, the mere title of which would turn off half of the underground, but shame on us for criticizing it before we even listened.  We'll have to get back that journalistic integrity, so here's hoping the rest of this review will do it.

 

Destroy All Gondolas is exactly what you expect if we were to call it Satanic surf rock, like seriously.  The syncopated drum rolls and churning acoustic at the start leads straight into a solo sounding like a bunch of muscle beach fanatics strumming away on banjos as they commit a sacrifice.  Regurgitate some punky, acidic, sweaty riffs on top of that, and sure enough, there it is, Satan made a thing of the surf, and it's actually enjoyable.  You can image the hair-covered goatlord peeling off his trunks, letting it all hang and drag in the waves, sharks snapping at the glans as he chugs out all of the goodies on this 7" to the call of bikini-clad maidens who have chosen to worship the Prince of Hell.  The fact these Italian weirdos took such an iconic, yet outdated sound and made it so unusual should be the first treat you lick before delving further, and when you go beyond the first taste, you'll find the center of this lolli is an acid trip with a pit fiend.  And those lyrics are some of the Goddamn funniest lines we've heard in awhile, yet there's something refreshingly serious about them.  You can get a sample of them by checking out their own Bandcamp page.  Anyone who can grind and tear while shouting some of that without laughing deserves a black mass on the boardwalk and another ridiculous surfing reference.  This 7" is only a small amount of space to grasp them, so hopefully if a full-length is next they can retain their sense of irony without becoming excessive.

 

Destroy All Gondolas Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Destroy All Gondolas – S/T 7"
Kornalcielo Records
4 / 5