Deerhunter: Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD)

 |   |  1 min read

Plains
Deerhunter: Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD)

America's Deerhunter – and the offshoot of projects as Atlas Sound by the band's helmsman Bradford Cox – has long been an Elsewhere favourite, in fact two of the four previous albums we reviewed – this being their eighth – were in our end of year Best of lists.

Those albums might have had a few shadows but mostly they were smart and frequently upbeat alt.rock which nudged a little towards psychedelia.

However Cox wakes up these days as an older man – he'll be 37 in May – and to a more bleak and chaotic America. And that – along with some Eighties synths to create emotional distance (the instrumental Greenpoint Gothic) and somewhat naff vocal processing (the unnecessary and never-again Detournement which sounds liked it dropped of an especially naff and self-important prog-rock album) – makes for a much darker journey where images are of fading, passing, ending and melancholy.

When these ideas are married to a soundscape or a melody – as on the naggingly good Elemental for the former, the jerky pop of Plains and the sprightly What Happens to People? for the latter – it works but too often here you can feel that Cox's dyspeptic disposition is morphing dangerously close to a pessimism (“winter is coming, be aware”) with misanthropy living next door. The closer Nocture with tape manipulation and a monochromatic setting is a real chore, and it is six and a half minutes long.

His pop smarts have not deserted Cox of course but to often here production elevates small idea (Futurism).

Perhaps the most interesting piece here is Tarnung, a kind of minimalist Eno/Bowie-like experimental piece which sounds beamed in from a very different album.

Given this is only 36 minutes long and there are three or four pieces you would happily live without, this seems a much considered, nicely arranged collection of lesser moments from a band/artist who can't quite figure out what it wants to be.

Those of us who have considered Deerhunter a pretty important band might find this very disappointing and really not worth the time spent decoding it.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Loop Select Mixtape (Loop)

Various Artists: Loop Select Mixtape (Loop)

Free music is always a good thing and the very fine people at Loop in Auckland have once again offered a free downlaod of a mixtape collection Here's the tracklisting: 01. Bottom Line... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Glen Campbell: Ghost on the Canvas (Inertia)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Glen Campbell: Ghost on the Canvas (Inertia)

Alongside his Alzheimer's diagnosis and a farewell tour comes this self-announced “final studio album” by the 75-year old legend whose career spans from LA session guitar work in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOB DYLAN: DESIRE, CONSIDERED (1976): To the valley below . . . and beyond

BOB DYLAN: DESIRE, CONSIDERED (1976): To the valley below . . . and beyond

In the collective memory, Bob Dylan's Desire album of '76 comes between the exceptional Blood on the Tracks and is sandwiched between the two legs of his Rolling Thunder Review of late '75 and... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON looks back at punk as a new way forward

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON looks back at punk as a new way forward

“Texts are worldly,” the literary theorist Edward Said wrote in '83, “[they are] a part of the social world, human life, and of course the historical moments in which they are... > Read more