“Finding the fluorescence in the junk” is the first line Bradford Cox sings on opening track “Neon Junkyard.” It stands as a descriptor of Deerhunter’s Monomania.
The fuzz-rock band from Atlanta is back. After all, 2010’s immaculate Halcyon Digest is sooo three years ago. Lead singer Bradford Cox has been (is) teetering on the edge of sanity, and has turned his inner turmoil public via verse-chorus-verse.
“Back to the Middle” has a dreamy beat set over scruffy guitars. Cox sings, “You broke me and you left these little pieces,” as if on the brink of a breakdown, only to calm himself by digging through the past.
One moment Cox is giving us muffles and grunts masked in sharp guitars and messy drum beats (“Leather Jacket II”), the next comes straightforward, almost cheerful garage-pop (“Pensacola”). It’s a spectacle to hear as a complete album. The highs and lows mesh without sounding too contrived.
The title track makes whatever that one thing that Cox has decided to preoccupy his world almost come to life. It’s chaos. The lyric, “Come on, God, hear my sick prayer,” is spewed in a disheveled voice with an ounce of optimism. It crashes and burns to a beautiful sputter.
- Album: Monomania
- Artist: Deerhunter
- Label: 4AD
- Songs: (1) "Neon Junkyard" (2) "Leather Jacket II" (3) "The Missing" (4) "Pensacola" (5) "Dream Captain" (6) "Blue Agent" (7) "T.H.M." (8) "Sleepwalking" (9) "Back to the Middle" (10) "Monomania" (11) "Nitebike" (12) "Punk (La Vie Antérieure)"