Demolition Day was not just a reawakening to the central nervous system for its quick but often displaced anger. It was a message of being lost within a desert, having Oliveri be the main narrator for an emotional wasteland.
Opening with “All I’ve Got,” the cowboy-centric ideology forms like a fountainhead. With these six-shooters of atmospheric building from the mechanical strums of electric guitar in the backing, Oliveri continues to push isolation even amongst a sea of instruments. With these Spanish-influenced horns that shine as a product, “All I’ve Got” is a simplistic introduction similar to a firm handshake that builds through intensity.
“All I’ve Got” becomes this soundtrack to doomsday as the vocals begin as whispers, but eventually cascade into shouts where the acoustic guitar follows suit. They belong like a symbiotic relationship, living off of each other as Oliveri illustrates, “it’s not you that I want, you’ll never know what I need. Yes, it’s gone, the love that I give you. Nothing I had and everything is yours,” while the horns push the audience to this edge of the universe in tension.
Breaking that tension, however, comes in the form of “Autopilot” where the R Rated spokesperson features desolation as his bandmate. Oliveri is a treasure on “Autopilot,” being the contributor toward a wandering mind that matches with his feet. The chorus that describes, “I wanna fly, want to ride with you. Is this the best, that you can do? I want to fly, want to ride with you. High up in a jet plane with you,” gives feelings of being misplaced when the break hits where Oliveri comes the closest to shouting here. He shouts, “Ah-ah, autopilot no control, ah-ah, ah. Ah-ah, autopilot no control, ah-ah, ah.”
Toward the end, Mark Lanegan’s graveled vocals appear and begin to use charcoal greys and shadows to paint the walls in a bleak undertone that finally meets a partner to match the misery. And though while being mostly acoustic to the focus points here, Oliveri continues to adapt these moments of teetering close to the edge; pressure building to the point of intoxication.
Though only six tracks, and then being re-released later with tracks from Oliveri’s other solo venture, Mondo Generator, Demolition Day is a solid step back into the simplistic that gives layers of foundation to work around. Ending on a bitter note, “Paper Thin” takes the cracks in a hollow exterior and pushes them to the forefront, giving a keyhole look at the intensity that is the shapes in the silhouette.