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5. Deerhunter – Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.

December 28, 2008

Microcastle

Deerhunter - Microcastle

Weird Era Cont.

Deerhunter - Weird Era Cont.

I’ve given up on trying to categorize Deerhunter. Every time I try to pin them, they maneuver out of it and regain total control. They are “garage rock” only so much in the sense that their rhythms are booming and steady. They don’t conform to any of the norms of “shoegaze,” although their reverb soaked sonic experiments cover more ground than My Bloody Valentine ever did and make a comparable racket. But “noise rock” would underplay their gentle atmospherics. There are hints of “ambient and “post-rock” – oh fuck it. These guys are a whole new breed. They seem to span genres ad infinitum without losing their distinctive sound or letting that sound weigh down their tight and inspired songwriting. Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. is a beast of an album, two separate, distinct albums that are, interestingly enough, completely essential to one another, like binary planets swirling near a colorful nebula. Microcastle is destined to be Deerhunter’s legendary album, loaded with catchy hits (Agoraphobia, Never Stops, Nothing Ever Happened) and addictive textural experiments (Little Kids, Green Jacket). Weird Era Cont. tears through its set with fast, muscular rockers (Backspace Century, Operation, VHS Dream) but it’s gemlike sonic experiments (Weird Era, Cicadas) also demand attention. It’s hard to believe, but every song here is classic Deerhunter: the singles, Cavalry Scars, Microcastle, Dot Gain, and Vox Humana are just a few highlights from a long list. Lyrically, Bradford Cox is at his most emotive and revealing, and it is a primary contributor to the songs’ substance. The momentum here is startling, and one can’t help but listen to the entire thing in one sitting while uncovering its individual accomplishments. I feel bad that I can’t think of a more clever way to sum up the accomplishments of this album, but I think listening to the album speaks for itself. It is a masterpiece and one of very few double albums with no wasted space.

Deerhunter

Deerhunter

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