Well here is something to look forward to. As we know by now each Deerhunter album is uniquely different and this one they say is a science fiction album for 2018. They've spent their time since 2015s Fading Frontier redefining their recording process going so far as to not use microphones for their instruments and plug them straight into the desk. Should be interesting.
Staff note from Clinton:
Vinyl LP £19.69 4AD0089LP
Grey coloured vinyl LP on 4AD.
- Coloured vinyl
CD £9.99 4AD0089CD
CD on 4AD.
When the death of former Deerhunter bass player Josh Fauver was announced, a friend of mine suggested that the band had never been the same since he left in 2012. Think about it - albums with Josh Fauver on - Cryptograms, Microcastle, Halycon Digest. Albums after his departure - Monomania, Fading Frontier and now Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? None of which get close to their earlier work in terms of quality or originality.
They remain an intriguing and unique band but it has to be said that this latest album is a very patchy affair and yet again fails to live up to past glories despite a myriad of good moments. First up let's talk about the good stuff. Opening track and lead single 'Death In Midsummer' is a great atmospheric slab of widescreen pop music with some fascinating lyrical observations. 'Element' is another example of their ability to reconstitute 60s pop into exciting new shapes. Its a lovingly made swirl of a thing. Even better perhaps is 'What Happens to People?' a lovely three minute burst of melodic pop that has a kind of sun dappled sadness to it that is hard to explain but hits the listener just in the right place. The best bits of the album are sun dazed but eerie, like looking out at electricity pylons buzzing over a sweltering desert.
Sadly there are so many skippable moments that the album is more suited to Spotify playlists rather than the long player the band reminisce about in the sleeve notes. Fascinatingly 'No-one's Sleeping' concerns the death of Jo Cox (when do American bands ever write about British stuff?) but try to find a tune in it I dare you. Then there's 'Detourment' -a horrible spoken word thing that threatens to derail the entire album. Closer 'Nocturne' has Bradford Cox muting his vocals like some kind of post modern Norman Collier and it's hugely irritating. Lashings of synths don't help create to moods the band create when they stick to their guitar-based template.
A frustrating mixed bag of an album. Lovely, inspired highlights shoulder to shoulder with things you wish they hadn't done.
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