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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glows fluorescent, 3 Aug. 2007
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flourescent Grey (Audio CD)
I'm not sure what "ambient punk" is. But whatever it is, Deerhunter are doing a pretty good job with it in the well-named "Fluorescent Grey EP" -- four songs of swirling, fuzzy rock'n'roll, that doesn't so much sweep you off your feet as float you on a current.

It opens with a gentle riff and some thumping drums. But as the music grows in complexity into a gentle spare melody, Bradford Cox begins singing somnolently: "I woke up/in the middle of the night/I called out/I called your name/patiently, patiently..." Halfway through, it erupts into a beautiful storm of swirling guitars and ethereal vocals.

It's echoed in the cycling, undulating pop of "Like New," which ends up being pretty haunting all on its own. But Deerhunter tries out other sounds, like the down-to-earth, indiepop melody of "Dr Glass," and the chiming, roiling punky flavour of the finale, "Wash Off."

They may call themselves ambient punk, but Deerhunter's musical style is pretty hard to put a finger on, and even harder to slap a label on. But whatever it is, it's complex and winning enough to be enjoyable, yet atmospheric enough to be memorable -- it's got an eerie, dark edge that doesn't get all blatant about it.

In this EP, their music is not particularly fast or hard -- it has jagged or punky moments, such as the roaring riffs in the title track, or the blazing bassline in "Wash Off." But most of the time the instruments cycle and fuzz, with some solid drums to set the beat -- and a dense fog of piano, ghostly elusive synth, rippling Hammond, bells, and occasionally an odd sample of forest noises and crickets.

Cox has, no doubt about it, a beautiful voice -- he gets buried in the mix a lot, but his smooth vocals still surface, sounding kind of ripply and distorted at times. The lyrics are actually the main problem, since they tend to be quite repetitive, though also very creepily evocative ("all the captives kissing/the children missing/the corpses rotting/in the cities spotting/the globe...").

"Fluorescent Grey" is a good sampling of what Deerhunter can do, and a good collection of murky, eerie songs in its own right. Definitely something to check out.
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Flourescent Grey
Flourescent Grey by Deerhunter (Audio CD - 2007)
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