Deerhunter – Monomania – Album Review

Robert McDonald

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Bradford Cox and his troupe follow up 2010’s Halcyon Digest with an impressively scuzzy and melodic record.

What Deerhunter do as good as anyone is bring harrowing beauty out of noise and vocals, with Monomania they again flourish in creating melody out of a hefty heavy racket.

Title-track ‘Monomania’ had its first airing on Jimmy Fallon a couple of weeks ago and it was quite a performance. Cox being as weird/wonderful as ever, donning a wig with blood tattered fingers/bandages. The end sequence was fantastic showmanship (see below) even if a it felt a little rehearsed. The band being all kitted out wearing matching cliché-d rock regalia also added a certain panache to the performance.

Check the band perform ‘Monomania’ on Jimmy Fallon here:

http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/video/deerhunter-monomania/n34639

Halcyon Digest was the bands most successful album; it oozed with refined sonic arrows.

Monomania is a departure of sorts with its sloshy fuzz vibe to the recordings. Opening track ‘Neon Junkyard’ is an honest indicator to how the 12-tracks and 43 minutes will sound.

Halcyon Digest is the aged vintage wine, smooth rich and satisfying. Monomania is the €6.50 Lidl Carbernet Sauvignon, instantly rewarding, trashy but ultimately enjoyable.

It was recorded in Brooklyn at the Rare Book Room, with the now Deerhuneter line-up of, Lockett James Pundt, Moses Archuleta, Frankie Broyles, Josh McKay and the aforementioned Cox.

Inside the general fuzz there are tunes with woozy loveliness that you come to expect from the Atlantans. ‘Pensacola’ being a case in point, the garage flux matched with lyrical wit and the power of Cox’s bark being certain factors that raise Deerhunter above many of their peers. They have more notches to their collective bedpost with regard the impressive array of elements that are encased in the band.

 

Cox in a recent Rolling Stone interview stated that Monomania is: “a very avant-garde rock & roll record.” Indeed it is, as Monomania,  is derivative of nothing and comparable to few.

 

‘Niteback’ glorious plodder evidently more fitting with night-time listening, its hymned, hummed and sung by Cox in a fine melancholy fashion. The melancholy finish may mask the memory of a fine album, which has its fair share of searing highs.

 

Monomania is released in Ireland on May 3rd.

 

Check out Deerhunter here:
Deerhunter’s Facebook

 

And stream Monomania from NPR here:
http://www.npr.org/2013/04/21/177759938/first-listen-deerhunter-monomania

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Robert McDonald

@therobbyPOP