Archive for October, 2010

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Album of 21 of 500: Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest

October 22, 2010

BAND: DEERHUNTER
ALBUM: HALCYON DIGEST
LABEL: 4AD
RELEASE DATE:  September 28th 2010

When an indie band takes on a major label, it can mean two things: an overproduced attempt at their sound, or an almost entirely different more corporate sound.  With Deerhunter’s new album Halcyon Digest, which was released on the same label as the Pixies, we don’t see that so much. The listener will hear a more developed attempt at the usual Deerhunter sound.  Deerhunter’s older albums are indeed excellent, yet mainly you have to weed through the noise and one gets a rare glimpse of the gems that their new album, “Halcyon Digest” holds. Here we will look at the band, and what it took to pull together an indie noise masterpiece.

Like many other bands, Deerhunter has gone through a lot. Formed in 2001, the indie noise band from Atlanta Georgia has seen a death of their original bassist from a skateboarding accident, to numerous breakups.  Fronted by Bradford Cox, along side with  guitarist Lockett Pundt, Josh Fauver and Moses Archuleta.  Deerhunter has come a long way from their first full length 2007 release on the indie label Kranky. Cryptograms reminds one more of a Providence noise band than the calm dream like state we meet in, Halcyon Digest. Some critics may see Halcyon Digest, as a total sellout album for the Atlanta band.  As noted before, this writer truly disagrees that this is a major label sellout album. We hear this progression in the older albums.  For example, “Spring Hall Convert,” off Cryptograms could easily fit on the Halcyon Digest.  It is rare of a band to pull such a beautiful composition on a fourth album.

Halcyon Digest is eleven songs of beautiful dream lands, and odd lyrics.  Deerhunter lyrics are simple, yet they are also interesting, usually full of self loathing, understanding others’ feelings, rejection, hopelessness, religious undertones and death. Cox’s lyrics seem to perhaps be dealing with his Marfan Syndrome and the lost of his bandmate on Halcyon Digest. By far, the best song on the album is “Desire Lines,”  with the chorus, “Walking Free/Come with Me/Far Away/Everyday”  In “Helicopter,” we are greeted with religious undertones and the subject of death, “Take my hand and pray with me/My final days in company /The devil now has come for me.”  Where he later sings, “I’m tired of my pain oh/No one Cares for Me.” Another example of death is found on the last song, “He Would Have Laughed,” a song about the late indie rocker and friend, Jay Reatard, who died in January of this year. We hear self loathing and understanding for those who feel the same in, “Don’t Cry” “Come on little boy/I am your friend and I understand the pain.”  Cox maybe channeling his younger self. Another example of rejection and Cox’s childhood flashbacks can be found in the song, “Memory Boy”. “Its not a house anymore./Try to recognize your son/in your eyes he’s gone.”

What’s not gone is the beauty and genius of Deerhunter.  Deerhunter took what sound best, cleaned it up and gave us one of the best albums of 2010.

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RM CRESSER © 2010 500 Rad Records

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We’re Back!

October 21, 2010

After a late summer break, whether it was being “so drunk in the August sun” or enjoying, “September in the night”, 500 Rad Records is back! Look forward to new reviews from new albums, like Deerhunter’s recent release, “Halcyon Digest” to old favorites, such as Built to Spill’s “Keep Like a Secret”! If there is a record you like to see reviewed, email us. Also be sure to join the facebook group, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=104484922922482&ref=ts for updates.

thanks and rock on!
RM