Effortlessly, Bradford Cox and the Deerhunter fellas have regurgitated rock and roll’s essence. From multiple angles, Monomania rewrites indie alternative to be the way it should be, climbing over avant-garde knicks and gritty blues knacks to pen full numbers that flip out with shades of Room On Fire, forgotten Decca rock groups and a very DIY “just-try-to-fuck-with-me” mindset. It’s a record that’s still glossy – “The Missing” will rule Brooklyn this summer – but Cox’s adaptation to being truly memorable and not ordinary is now heavily jabbed by instrumental compliments. “Dream Captain” and “T.H.M.” smolder by syncing poignant harmonies, and when you least expect it, the group can switch between hits of distortion (“Leather Jacket II”), jagged blues twang (“Pensacola”) and soothing dream pop (“Sleepwalking”) faster than Cox can change costumes. If Monomania’s lovesick ache to connect on various levels doesn’t truly rip apart the term “conservative”, then its vivid make-up will. Well-placed transitions and experimental hooks make it hard to tell if Cox’s lyrical strikes are about his nervous breakdowns or the doubt to be identified, accepted or in love. They all tie into a pathological obsession with one thing, and even if that thing is making real sacrifices for rock music, Deerhunter know how to reign in its theatrical side to make every note pop with meaning.
Listen: “Dream Captain”, “Nitebike”, “Back To The Middle” || Watch: “Monomania”