Sunday, December 14, 2008

#2 Album of 2008: Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. - Deerhunter


Kranky Records.

“As exciting as Microcastle is (and there’s really no other word for it), a sliver of me feels bittersweet that Deerhunter have certainly moved toward the mainstream, instead of bringing the mainstream to them.”

That’s what I wrote last month in my review of Microcastle, a record that is as accomplished as most indie-rock acts dare dream of. Yet its towering SCQ Rating and accolade as my #2 Album of the Year is due as much to Microcastle’s bonus companion disc, Weird Era Cont., as the main ticket itself. Those Deerhunter traits, which at first seemed marginalized by a push toward accessibility, are healthily at home here. Sporting the free-jazz fall-apart of ‘Cicadas’, the tightly-wound jamming of ‘Operation’, some girl-group session-playing for ‘Vox Humana’ or ‘Focus Group’s reckless hooks, Weird Era Cont. is a gloriously muddled extension of Cryptograms. A strange period, indeed that combined with Microcastle’s meticulousness, makes for an endlessly re-spinnable double-album.

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