9/10 Clinton Staff review, 24 September 2010
Deerhunter can't do too much wrong can they? Well 'Microcastle' was a bit of a disappointment after the majesty of their breakthrough monster 'Cryptograms' and its equally stunning follow up 'Fluorecent Grey' but they were back on track with the more recent releases leading up to this, probably their most anticipated album. Its starts slowly with a rather ploddy opener in which the past 80's glories of their label 4AD are recalled but the single 'Revival' is an absolute classic where the band come across as a 60's beat combo in awe of The Hollies. Fantastic fun. 'Memory Boy' is more fantastically upbeat catchy pop, immediately impressive. Deerhunter do seem to have lost their darker side which although at times regrettable but this is easily tempered by the numerous pop nuggets on offer. Fans of guitarist Lockett Pundt's superb solo album under the Lotus Plaza moniker will be pleased to note he writes takes and takes lead vocals on the albums standout 'Desire Lines' which is a wonderful 3 minutes of heavenly melody followed by a lengthy guitar outro reminiscent of Pixies amazing 'No 13 Baby'. Again the 60's influence is sure and true on 'Basement Scene' which brings to mind the intelligent ballads of The Zombies with nice reverb on the vocals threatening to overwhelm the track. 'Helicopter is gloriously melancholic', as the album wears on it seems like Deerhunter have got better at mixing up their more downbeat introspective material with the poppier stuff and finally on 'He Would Have Laughed' they combine the two, an almost Animal Collective feel to the vocals over marching tom toms and repetitive guitar lines. A very strong album overall, not without the odd weak moment particularly towards the beginning but highly recommended and a deserving Album of the Week.
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