Deerhunter - Rainwater Cassette Exchange (4AD)
08 Jun 2009
"if other bands try to reconstruct shoegaze from the fondly remembered times, deerhunter piece it together frankenstein style - and the life brought forth's wholly more unique..."; release - '09
Rainwater Cassette Exchange could be seen as a climatic release; signifying the final destination of Atlanta's Deerhunter - a ravaged place inhabited by spectral, cerebral memories of everyman suburbia and Bradford Cox's Marfan haunted youth. Visited in Cryptogram's overcast settings and more resolutely in Weird Era Contd. Disfigured theatres, it could also be seen as to Microcastle what the Fluorescent Grey EP was to Cryptograms, in the heated guitar of 'Disappearing Ink' or the Spector like wail of 'Famous Last Words.'
Look more closely, however, and, like every Deerhunter release, you'll be rewarded indiscriminately. The second half of Rainwater... is two, long, gestating sickness songs; nostalgia plagues what's here labelled 'side two.' 'Game Of Diamonds' is another in the already long list of feverish Marfan recollections. "No one ever talked to me," Bradford's resolute voice wavers behind a more muted Deerhunter; the guitar leaden anger inherent in Microcastle's earlier torment smouldering. It's also indicative of Cox's current state; Marfan's desolation a distant time, his voice: "Time never meant to much to me" past tense - his later "so strong, I know" affords what was a desolate future a least a hope of recovery. 'Circulation' offers less in the way of insight vocally, Cox's coo "shame on the doctors/ oh, how they fooled us/ into little traps" the most venomous and accusatory outburst.
But though Deerhunter's former output slowly wavered into the same retrospective shoe gazing of their peers currently laying siege to moving lips everywhere, Rainwater Cassette Exchange reaffirms the bedraggled invention that belied the fact they were always a band worthy of more. If slowly words stood out amongst the reverb, now Deerhunter make music to elicit that seemingly subjective haunting; 'Circulation' mirrors sentiment in Cox's delayed voice, and ends amidst burst feedback and Deerhunter adventuring further into the drawn out wonderment of past music-scapes.
This EP actually stands more firm as a counterpoint to Weird Era Cont. Though with that release Cox was flippant enough to say it might never go out, you get the impression that the band wouldn't ever had to make a choice here. After recording with Nick Verhes, as Microcastle was played back to the band, the release of Weird Era Cont. might not have felt so resolute. This time, recording again with Verhes at the same venue (Rare Book Rooms) you can imagine the band excitable, and happier with the direction their music is slowly taking them. If other bands try to reconstruct shoegaze from the fondly remembered times, Deerhunter piece it together Frankenstein style - and the life brought forth's wholly more unique.