Last couple days I spent uncomfortable in my underwear throwing up. The round trips evacuating different colour sports drink and Joey Jeremiah spending his summer dating Caitlin and fucking Tessa, and don’t forget Neil Hope’s fate*, they got me sarcastic, negative, feeling mean. Tessa got the abortion and never talked to anyone?
Deerhunter tossed “Monomania” to the internet today. It’s loud and noisy but not angry or dance-y. Maybe those’re my cards, are anger and movement all I want? That’d be reductive, my Deerhunter resentment is reactive. I pull back to seeing them just after Microcastle.
Black Lips headlined and their set was human damage, broken glass, torn clothing, mouths full of blood, surreptitious smoking.
“Monomania” seems wilder than “Dirty Hand.” There’s tons of guitar and repetition and fucking around, plus lo-fi button voices. Big Criticism’s descriptors: thorny, venom, genuine malice, a much darker place, digging hard into their punk roots, dragging their sound through the mud, dirty, pulling you by the hair, extreme self-awareness.
Let me sub: They’ve got attitude. They’re edgy, they’re in your face. You’ve heard the expression, “let’s get busy”? Well this is a band who gets biz-zay! Consistently and thoroughly. So they’re proactive? Oh, God yes! We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.
It falls apart when you see Deerhunter. This loud, interesting, catchy music isn’t challenging or thorny or venomous or anything. They’ll play “Monomania” and wimpy boys from the internet’s most obvious strata’ll sway with their dates and nod and drum on their hips.
Bradford Cox and co are interesting, they’ve got great taste, and their records are decent. Hell, they’re inoffensive! That’s why their albums chart and people pay to see them. Pretending this taste of their newest pushes away from that is dishonest. Monomania won’t scare youth groups. It’s glossy noise rock for people who can’t imagine stomaching electric eels. Deerhunter made a difficult listen already: Carve Your Initials Into the Walls of the Night. It’s not so great.
*“Unlike his peers, Neil Hope didn’t leave a paper trail of home purchases, car loans or a specified next of kin. There were just two unresolved GO train infractions totalling $354, a trail of acquaintances whose couches he slept on, and a group of people who loved him but were frustrated he wasn’t taking care of himself.”