Grampall Jookabox is the pseudonym of Indianapolis native
David ‘Moose’ Adamson, a nonsensical,
childlike refusal to adopt a proper name echoing Adamson’s reluctance to adhere to any kind of traditional musicianship or song structure.
‘Ropechain’ (album number two) was never going to be normal.
‘Black Girls’ uses skewed, M.I.Astyle samples of children singing
alongside its nonchalant lament.
‘Ghost’ is an eerie, sweeping refrain.
‘The Girl Ain’t Preggers’ is the closest we get to visualising a live performance, with twanging basslines.
Like a dirtier, more distorted LCD Soundsystem or a frantic, shrieking Soulwax, ‘Ropechain’ draws on old-school hip hop, Jookabox
pitched-up country samples and heavy electro-beats to be an innovative, fusion-filled treat.
Poor old Deerhunter. Earlier this year, Bradford Cox’s heart and soul
leaked onto the internet, in the form of unreleased songs from both his side project Atlas Sound and his day job band.
His frustration at an such incident is important to bear in mind when
listening to ‘Microcastle’.
Meandering along nicely, opening track ‘Cover Me [Slowly]’ sets the
pace for the rest of everything found here.
Complete with swooning guitars, effervescent feedback and Cox’s matured vocals, it’s soon clear that ‘Microcastle’ is Deerhunter’s most accessible album yet.
However, if you prefer the clattering and uncontrolled nature of earlier records, ‘Weird Era Continued’, ‘Microcastle’’s bonus disc, is for you.
It encapsulates of all the…well…‘weird’ and brilliant aspects of Deerhunter and Cox.
Try to comprehend ‘Offend Maggie’ and you’re missing the point.
Like a good David Lynch movie, the idea is not to understand what’s going on, but just to let Deerhoof mesh together the way they do and enjoy the bursts of expression that come out along the way.
Special mention among the madness though must go to ‘Chandelier Searchlight’, the catchiest thing on the album and one of the most curiously bewitching pop songs of recent years.
With half a dozen sections and key changes in four minutes, this should have no right to be anything more than an academic exercise, but instead it’s perfectly paced,
beautifully sung and effortlessly composed.
The album is sung half in Japanese, half in English and peppered with Pavementesque guitars and Sonic Youth time signatures, offering a very pleasing sense of bewilderment.
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