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.
Just over a year after Chiodos released their sophomore album, the band returns to Bone Palace Ballet, releasing the reissue Bone Palace Ballet: Grand Coda. Chiodos integrate four new songs into the framework of the original release and tack on two acoustic versions at the end of the album. The new package also includes a DVD with the works: live tracks, music videos and behind-the-scenes footage.
Dear and the Headlights (who doesn’t like a good pun?) delivers their sophomore album Drunk Like Bible Times to the world of indie rock. Blending a variety of genres — rock, folk, some jazz, even a little classical guitar — Dear and the Headlights separate themselves from the rest of the indie rock groups — only not really.
The album starts off with “I’m Not Crying. You’re Not Crying, Are You?” Showing the band’s versatility, the song opens with a folksy guitar line and equally folksy lyrics, but quickly descends into Killers-esque rock. The single “Talk About” highlights the theme of the whole album: a harsh heaviness masked by catchy rhythms. Lyrically poetic and satirical, the song lulls you into its own cynicism.