November 6, 2008

Deerhunter: Microcastle

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Atlanta based quintuplet Deerhunter release their third album, Microcastle, into an already overflowing indie / ambient rock scene. Announcing their third album so quickly after their second seemed courageous, but the results are less than thrilling.
The swirling guitar, bass-heavy rhythm and minimalist drumming of the single “Never Stops” characterize the new indie-pop sound the band is going for on their newest release. The record has a respectable 12 songs, but maintains the same slow, stunted pace throughout and never really picks up. Vocalist Bradford Cox, while personally expressive, merely finds a phrase he likes and sticks with it to the bitter end. “Cavalry Scars,” “Agoraphobia,” title track “Microcastle” and most of the album are lyrically uninspired.
Though the band is hailed as an energetic force on stage, listening to the mundane Microcastle makes that claim hard to believe. Lethargic music can be effective and beautiful, but on this album, Deerhunter misses the mark both instrumentally and lyrically.