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coverpic flag US - Georgia - Full Moon 128 - 03/04/07

Deerhunter
Cryptograms
Kranky

Cryptograms? The real puzzle is why so many people have been raving about this album.

OK, let's start with the positive side. There are two songs on here, "Spring Hall Convert" and "Strange Lights", that sound like demos recorded by My Bloody Valentine and Ride, respectively. This is a very good thing. Good songs rendered woozy through a shoegazey mist of guitars and '60s garage-psych sounds. Could have been much better given treatment by Kevin Shields, but then what wouldn't? Plus, the shorter instrumental tracks ("Intro", "White Ink", "Red Ink") are pretty nice collages of warm sound. If only they didn't include field recordings of running water (Jesus!).

And then there's shit like the title track and the truly abominable "Lake Somerset". Hey, we're so stoned! We're recording vocals through effects and cranking the bass up really loud! This is the kind of shit that must have been recorded to smoke drugs to, the trouble being that you have to be stoned to appreciate it. Straight, it's just tedious.

Why have Deerhunter got three guitarists when they don't take advantage of them? How talentless is the rhythm section? How great are delay pedals really?

The only value of this album is getting the briefest taste of where this band may go next if they stop trying to sound like an adolescent Spritualized and write some decent songs.

Copyright © 2007 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Deerhunter articles/reviews: Fading Frontier, Snakeskin.

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