Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag US - Georgia - Full Moon 233 - 08/29/15

4AD / Playground

Bradford Cox and his Deerhunter gang rides, rolls and spins again with a song called "Snakeskin", a taster from their coming album (their seventh), Fading Frontier (to be released on October 16th).

In-between the Deerhunter albums, Cox has put out records as Atlas Sound (such as 2009's Logos and the last platter, 2011's Parallax). I'm not sure if Atlas Sound is still running in pallall to Deerhunter. Musically the bands are quite related to each other. Cox is also busy with the movie business: he contributed to the soundtrack (written by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) for the magnificent Spike Jonze film Where the Wild Things Are (2009). In 2012 Cox made his film debut (as Jared Leto's lover - a cross-dresser dying of AIDS) in Dallas Buyers Club (directed by Jean-Marc Vallée). Anyway, how is the Deerhunter sound (and songs) in 2015? It's been two years since their last album, the acclaimed Monomania. As was Halcyon Digest (2010). Critically acclaimed, I mean. As was Weird Era Cont. and Microcastle (both 2008), and their second Cryptograms (2007) - they've been critics' favourites almost from the start - well, maybe not here at Luna K's....

Last December Brandon Cox was injured and hospitalised after an accident (where he was hit by a car). I guess he started to finish songs for a new album when stretched out in bed. "Snakeskin" sounds like he's up on his feet again, with a dazed dance-beat with a slight psychedelic twist, sounding like an imaginative blend of Animal Collective and Talking Heads. Art-rock, that is. Is it good? It is, sort of. It's a strolling (a 'snake-like walk'...) song with more rhythm than melody, but it holds a confident coolness. Lyrically, it seems Cox deals with his personal life with a troubled youth of disease, disorder, and dropping out of school (yet being able to act somewhat cocky and bratty) as well as his recent hospital stay:
I was born already nailed to the cross, I was born with a feeling I was lost, I was born with the ability to talk, I was born with a snake-like walk... / I was born a crippled man on my back...
I was dreaming of a man with a neon back, I was dreaming of a man with a heart attack,
I lost my marbles all over the pink, pink cage, I tried to find a cable that was engaged.
I was lost in that home for the aged and lonely, I cried and I choked, I was sick and I was boney, I was feelin' kinda hell, I was feelin' kinda lonely...

"Snakeskin" gets cooler by every spin, and the quartet (Cox; guitarist/singer Lockett Pundt; drummer Moses Archuleta; bass player Josh McKay - they sound quite self-assured and playful. A bit brighter sounding than earlier, maybe, but the darkness twists and lurks in the back. Not far away. Let's just wait and see when Fading Frontier appears.

Copyright © 2015 Howard Deereye e-mail address

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

© 2015 Luna Kafé