Great sound explorations
Greg Kinne | midwest | 07/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Deerhunter's new album "Microcastle" is quite a departure from its predecessor "Cryptograms." The reason that this album is a departure is because it is a lot more immediate than their previous works. The album starts off with ambient sounds on "Cover Me Slowly" before abruptly shifting into full band mode on "Agoraphobia." Current single, "Never Stops" sounds like something the Pixies might have forgotten to include on "Surfer Rosa," which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"Little Kids" is a perfect slab of dream pop with just the right amount of sweeping distortion. The title track, "Microcastle" begins with a chorus-laden guitar and watery vocals before transitioning into a full Jesus and Mary Chain styled melody. Deerhunter preserve their ambient style with several songs before returning to the rock fold of "Nothing Ever Happened."
On this album, there's even room for an acoustic number, "Saved By Old Times" which references the sound collages and experiments in the lyrics. Album closers "Neither Of Us, Uncertainly" and "Twilight At Carbon Lake" shimmer appropriately in a spacey kind of way.
With this album, the bleeps and bloops that inhabit Deerhunter's songs are no longer the main focus. Deerhunter is less abstract than they were before but experimental elements still creep into their approach to song writing. Deerhunter sounds more like a band now than an experiment in sound, and I think that's a step in the right direction.
Deerhunter II Electric Boogaloo...
B. Gavin | Chicago, IL | 06/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pitchfork gushed over this album, and while there are some tremendous cuts, Bradford Cox meanders along too many lulls and psychedelic paths. There are middle stretches that just don't rock. All is not lost, however. The track "Nothing Ever Happened" is an incredibly rocking song and is worth the price of this double album. It's amazing that in Pitchfork's list of 2008's 100 Best Tracks that it finished behind the Fleet Foxes, "White Winter Hymnal". It's 5+ minutes of bliss and should have been the best indie track of 2008. Oh well, at least Pitchfork recognized its greatness and placed it in their top 10. If only Deerhunter had made some of the middle cuts more rocking, this would have been a stellar album. If Cox had minimized some of the meandering & condensed the album from a double into a single album, the consistency would have been better. Tracks like "Backspace Century", "Operation", "Dot Gain" & "VHS Dream" from Weird Era would have upped the rockability quotient of Microcastle's standouts like, "Cover Me", "Agoraphobia", "Nothing Ever Happened" & "Saved by Old Times"."