12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox has established himself as a critical part of the indie-rock scene. His music is unpredictable and sometimes challenging, but even in his most experimental moments there is a vulnerable human-ness that makes it accessible. Microcastle puts Cox and his band firmly on the path to producing cohesive songs with beginnings, middles and ends, and they’re not just songs with all the right parts; they’re astoundingly accessible and memorable to boot. Guitarist Lockett Pundt’s contributions — on vocals as well — are a real plus, and from the lulling “Agoraphobia” to the ‘60s pop charm of “Little Kids” and “Saved by Old Times,” Microcastle offers plenty of well above-average indie pop. Cotton-candy shoegazer “Never Stops” has a sad, lyrical feel, and “Calvary Scars” and “Activa” are wrapped in the ambient twinkle of Cox’s solo work as Atlas Sound. The gloriously dreamy “Neither of Us, Uncertainly,” and the Yo La Tengo-ish “Nothing Ever Happened” are strong contenders for Best of Show, but we give the award to the purely Deerhunter “Microcastle” which fools us all for the first two minutes with its airy, twee weightlessness before morphing into a sonic tsunami.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox has established himself as a critical part of the indie-rock scene. His music is unpredictable and sometimes challenging, but even in his most experimental moments there is a vulnerable human-ness that makes it accessible. Microcastle puts Cox and his band firmly on the path to producing cohesive songs with beginnings, middles and ends, and they’re not just songs with all the right parts; they’re astoundingly accessible and memorable to boot. Guitarist Lockett Pundt’s contributions — on vocals as well — are a real plus, and from the lulling “Agoraphobia” to the ‘60s pop charm of “Little Kids” and “Saved by Old Times,” Microcastle offers plenty of well above-average indie pop. Cotton-candy shoegazer “Never Stops” has a sad, lyrical feel, and “Calvary Scars” and “Activa” are wrapped in the ambient twinkle of Cox’s solo work as Atlas Sound. The gloriously dreamy “Neither of Us, Uncertainly,” and the Yo La Tengo-ish “Nothing Ever Happened” are strong contenders for Best of Show, but we give the award to the purely Deerhunter “Microcastle” which fools us all for the first two minutes with its airy, twee weightlessness before morphing into a sonic tsunami.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
211 Ratings

211 Ratings

orlandofloresjr ,

New Perspective of Deerhunter.

I'm not a diehard Deerhunter fan, and one of the major factors in my purchase of this album was the fact that it had been released earlier than the physical copy. I'll casually listen to Cryptograms, usually if a song from the album comes up on my iPod on random or if the ever so wonderful Genius claims it compatible with another one of my songs, so going in to purchasing this album my expectations weren't exactly too high. I imagined getting a few respectable guitar riffs accompanied by static noise, much like My Bloody Valentine or The Jesus and Mary Chain, who I also casually, not constantly, listen to; what I got was definetly not what I expected. Microcastle is from beginning to end a wonderfully done album and it totally changed my opinion of Deerhunter! It's steady flow from song to song, excellent instrumentals and amazing vocals truly blend into one beautiful sound. "Nothing Ever Happened" is definetly my favorite track, but I also highly reccomend listening to "Agoraphobia" and "Little Kids." Definetly a nice pick-up for shallow reasoning behind the purchase.

RRQ ,

Great Stuff.

I should probably start by saying that I am not really a big Deerhunter fan. I didn't "get" Cryptograms. The only reason I even bothered was because a buddy of mine who felt the same way about Cryptograms insisted that I check this out. I also don't like giving albums 5 stars. However, this album is really great. Its worth your dollar. The whole thing flows really well with highs and lows, but still keeps an almost dreamy atmosphere wrapped around it. I wouldn't recommend Cryptograms (not saying its terrible, its just not my cup of tea), but this album is a good one. I have really enjoyed it.

strange form of life ,

fantastic

somebody earlier noted that this album was "not as catchy or experimental" as cryptograms. Contradictory word choices aside, the guy was wrong about the catchiness. I get the vocal melodies to "nothing ever happens" "cover me" and "never stops" stuck in my head all the time. And my day is better off for it. If they made a record similar in aesthetic to cryptograms (which was awesome), I'd have been very disappointed. Excellent (and this time, prominent!) vocals, little to no meandering, VERY tight drumming (an improvement over Cryptograms), and cohesion all lend to a greatly improved sound. Might be my album of the year.

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