JTM Grade: 90%
Bradford Cox is twistedly charismatic, talented, ridulously prolific and a superior blogger. Over the last year or so he's spit out the Pitchfork-adored Deerhunter LP Cryptograms and the even better EP Fluorescent Grey. Then there's Atlas Sound, his solo project, which released their debut full-length earlier in the year. And that's not even mentioning the enormous amount of random solo material via said blog. The mad man is constantly on tour somewhere in the world, having recently finished a European stint with Animal Collective. Spencer Krug has some serious competition as indie rock's top workaholic.
Now comes the highly-anticipated Microcastle. Oddly, there is still no release date but it's sure to see the legal light of day some time in '08. This here is some good tunes, people. Much more focused than Cryptograms' deliberate pacing, or Atlas Sound's noodling tendencies. It's a long lost rock album from the late 60's...and not England, but think New York City...Andy Warhol's NYC by way of Atlanta, GA. This has Velvet Underground vibes all over it. Add in some Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth for good measure and you have yourself a mighty fine cocktail. Not derivative mind you. Microcastle is unmistakably the psych-heavy work of Deerhunter and Bradford Cox, but the emphasis is directly on the 'micro.' Whereas Cryptograms had extended, droning interludes between more proper songs, this set has the immediacy that Fluorescent Grey promised. No beating around the bush, only minimal meandering. Shorter and sweeter, and yet not sweet at all. We have yet another contender for AOTY in what is quickly becoming an impressively complicated race.
I know...when am I going to review some bad music, right? It's a constant and justifiable complaint about amateur music bloggers. They just endlessly rant and rave about all they love and adore, criticism be damned. Truly, I'm a discerning and critical dude and don't like everything I hear by a long shot. To prove it to you, I'm off to find some bad or boring music to tell you about next week. Doesn't sound too fun, does it?