Monday, September 29, 2008

Deerhunter - Microcastle

I have to confess that I was really curious about this second full-length album from Deerhunter, as no one could know what to expect. Their first record "Cryptograms" was a visceral reverb-loaded cathartic experience full of angst and despair, but then they followed it up with an EP ("Fluorescent Grey") that took a more pop-oriented lighter approach and to top it all, an year later, vocalist Bradford Cox put out a record that was a completely different experience. In "Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel", from Bradford's side project Atlas Sound, it seemed as if he had come to terms with his own demons and the result was a collection of beautiful home-made abstract drone sketches. So what next? A return to the loud sonic assaults of their debut? Or keeping up with the recent evolution and exploring a bit more the inner-joys of the Atlas Sound project? The answer comes in the form of "Microcastle" and follows a surprising direction: it takes a bit of everything that was behind and adds up some 1960's influences seen through a schizophrenic lens. So we end up with a very diverse but also strongly-cohesive collection that if, at first hand, seems a bit understated, that's just because we now can actually see the amazingly-written songs in all their glory, something that in the past was hidden underneath all the hypnotic fucked-up noise. And fucking great songs these are, with their delicate mixture of psychedelic leanings, pedal-guitar algoritms, compelling melodies, dynamic flourishes, glorious refrains and bedroom experimentation. All put together to form a confident exorcism made of indie gems that is destined to become one of the best records of the year. (9/10)

Deerhunter - Agoraphobia (fan video)

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