Thursday, January 10, 2008

Newish Old Album Review:
Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey EP

Grade: 80%

(Kranky, 2007)

"Wash Off" [mp3]

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A week before RL voted on its Top 25 Albums of 2007, I realized I was missing a track off the Deerhunter album. You might have heard of it. “Spring Hall Convert.” That’s right, I was missing what many consider one of the album’s best songs, and I was still planning to put Cryptograms in my top five.

“That shows her for illegally downloading,” you must be saying. Yes, I’m notorious not only for illegally downloading, but illegally downloading incomplete albums (see here). So recently when other reviewers/bloggers started listing their top songs of 2007, and I saw the song “Wash Off” repeatedly mentioned, I started thinking, “God, no, I’ve missed another.” To my relief I discovered this not the case; rather, a 2007 Deerhunter EP had completely escaped my detection. (Not surprising considering it took me the better half of 2007 to “get” Cryptograms, or at least my 10/11 version of it.)

So here we are at the start of 2008, and already I have new Deerhunter to accompany me. Let me just say, an EP this good makes me wish they’d saved the material for a full-fledged album. In just four tracks Brandon Cox and crew etch out a landscape not unlike the one established in Cryptograms, though they've played with their sound in a way that the uniformity of the LP would not allow. Gone are the hazy ambient tracks, the veiled vocals. Instead we have four solid tracks that quickly get to the point, asserting themselves as not only four excellent songs, but as their own cohesive entity. Florescent Grey is Cryptograms with all of the rockin’, and less of the dickin’ around.

It’s encouraging to see Deerhunter attempt two different sounds within such a short time and excel at both. I have hope that whenever they emerge from their so-called hiatus, they will continue to explore their unique otherworldly sound – in whatever form it might take.


panopticon said...

People still buy albums?

The Moon said...

It's funny that you say "an EP this good makes me wish they’d saved the material for a full-fledged album" becuz they actually ended adding the Florescent Grey Ep to Cryptograms at the end of 07 to make a deluxe edition. I'm actually not sure how much longer you are going to be able to buy them separately?