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Rainwater Cassette Exchange - EP

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Album Review

With Microcastle, Weird Era, and this EP — not to mention all the music the band released on its blog at that time — Deerhunter hit its creative stride and didn't waste one moment. While Rainwater Cassette Exchange isn't drastically different from what came before it, it's at the same impressive level of quality. If anything, the four pop nuggets that begin the EP might be an even more potent distillation of the band's weirdness, catchiness, and beauty, from the title track's surf exotica to the push-pull of "Famous Last Words"' fuzzy guitars and cryptic lyrics. "Disappearing Ink" charges in on a forceful rhythm, but Bradford Cox's vocals and the chorus ("disappearing ink"/but the words still sting") aren't so sure, a trick Deerhunter also used brilliantly on Microcastle's "Nothing Ever Happened." "Game of Diamonds" is a standout, melding tablas, piano, Everly Brothers harmonies, and a caressing melody into Eastern-tinged dream-chamber-pop that's unique even for a band as committed to mixing sounds and moods as Deerhunter is. The band burns through Rainwater Cassette Exchange's first few tracks almost impatiently, making "Circulation"'s stretch from psych-punk to a sound collage reminiscent of the end of "I Am the Walrus" all the more satisfying. At five songs and 15 minutes long, Rainwater Cassette Exchange is a quick tour of what Deerhunter can do and how well they do it, and more proof the band's inspiration is at its peak.

Customer Reviews

Exploring musical influences

This EP is an exploration into an increasingly upbeat realm for Deerhunter. Not to say this is a totally upbeat EP, but it does explore a new level of accessibility. Generally, the EP produces a tropical and watery vibe, which is what Bradford & co. set out to do, apparently inspired by Anco's latest. Highlights include the jam Disappearing Ink that will likely draw Strokes comparisons. The final track is a personal favourite and sees the band play on their strengths with strange electronic layering and steam of consciousness wig-outs. This EP is an interesting example of a band wearing influences on their sleaves, and ultimately refines a listener's definition of the kind of music Deerhunter excell at making.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Deerhunter are an experimental noise rock band from Atlanta, fronted by the compellingly odd singer Bradford Cox. Cox's vocal style blends vocal experimentation along the lines of Meredith Monk or Yoko Ono with a more direct and punky howl inspired by the Fall's Mark E. Smith. Cox is also a striking on-stage presence: the exceedingly skinny 6'4" lead singer has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue that gives him abnormally long and spindly limbs. (The late Joey Ramone was...
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