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An essential purchase for fans...
Atlanta-based avant-rock foursome Deerhunter aren’t exactly in the habit of keeping a secret – this five-track EP, like the two albums that preceded it it, leaked onto the ‘net some time before its official release.
But, like its immediate forerunners – namely the superb ‘Microcastle’ and its companion LP, ‘Weird Era Cont.’ – ‘Rainwater Cassette Exchange’ contains within its slight frame myriad treats for the senses, each offering an echo of familiar Deerhunter form without the whole ever lapsing into repetition (not that anyone would mind). Through sound one sees shapes and shades, always morphing; close your eyes and a lava lamp dances magic across the inside of your lids, your ears gently thwacked by the most wonderfully giddying branch of the indie-rock tree.
Bradford Cox – lynchpin, vocalist, alien – is, of course, the focal point of the ‘Rainwater…’ experience, his vocals never wholly discernable yet conveying such a heightened feeling of emotion that one can’t not be touched deeply. By that we’re not talking diary page confessionals – rather, the singer’s expressiveness is all about tone and texture, words actually secondary in his connection with the listener. His voice is another instrument, accompanying the clattering percussion and sweeping guitar wails perfectly.
‘Famous Last Words’ finds the four focused, its frame comparable to many a ‘60s Brit band – think the pop-savvy strut of The Kinks with the added bite of a howling psychedelic outfit – but elsewhere on this recommended EP the band conjure consuming cacophonies: ‘Disappearing Ink’, for instance, basically bludgeons its way to a bloody climax, but every second delivers comfort alongside confrontation to strike a neat balance between the reactions of fight or flee. The title track – a free download ahead of inclusion here – is the most relaxed song of the five, groggy with a heady brew and content of disposition.
Eventually, surely, the quality control will fail in the Deerhunter ranks, and a release will emerge that goes some way to undoing the good work the band have achieved across four full-lengths and numerous accompanying extras. But not yet. ‘Rainwater…’ is an essential purchase for existing fans, and the curious yet to explore Deerhunter’s sonic tapestries have never been presented with a more concise introductory opportunity.
There really is no excuse. After all, you can probably find it online for free easily enough.