DEERHUNTER > Microcastle
Microcastle, the second full-length from Atlanta’s Deerhunter, sees Bradford Cox and company reining in-but not abandoning-the pervading experimental impulses on their sometimes arduous 2007 release, Cryptograms. The results are phenomenal. As soon as the last notes of opener “Cover Me (Slowly)” subside, the band fires off three immediate tracks drawing both from elements of ‘60s rock and pop as well as the stranger ingredients heard the last go around. Guitarist Lockett Pundt croons like Lou Reed on “Agorophobia,” while both “Never Stops” and “Little Kids” begin as contagious retro cuts before beautifully building into colossal walls of noise. The middle section is somewhat less urgent, but it isn’t any less beautiful. “Activa” is one of the record’s most compelling songs. “Nothing Ever Happened,” nearly six minutes of propulsive, synth-rock bliss, and “Saved By Old Times,” a bluesy, tape reel freak-out, highlight the latter portion of Microcastle, though one could praise nearly every track present. It is clear Deerhunter is maturing in the best possible way.