“Walk around and you’ll see what’s fading…” Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared is a step forward for Deerhunter, the Atlanta band who initially made waves with their controversial live performances, transgressive subject matter and the unpredictable behavior of frontman Bradford Cox; but have recently settled into more rustic pastures with 2015’s Fading Frontier. The first few numbers are consistent with this latest iteration; mature blues rock arrangements brushed with pastoral touches of harpsichord and honkey tonk brass. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find krauty textures reminiscent of the self-described ‘ambient punk’ sound that defined mid-career touchstones Microcastle, Halcyon Digest and Cox’s solo work as Atlas Sound. The recent addition of a full-time synth man is immediately evident on tracks like “Tarnung” (guitarist Lockett Pundt’s lone vocal contribution), the moody, J.M. Jarre-esque “Greenpoint Gothic,” or Cox’s bizarre, dreamlike monologue “Détournement.” These atmospheric passages serve to bolster the more magnetic pop numbers, like “Element,” “Futurism,” “Plains,” and the album’s grand centerpiece “What Happens To People.” The latter’s ethereal synths, grand piano vamps, start-stop beat and Cox’s weightless vocals makes it something like Deerhunter’s 2019 answer to “Helicopter;” it's every bit as catchy and charismatic but a little less disheartening. Production is handled by the band in partnership with Welsh folk songstress Cate Le Bon, veteran producer Ben Allen and engineer Ben Etter, and despite the austerity of the album title, this is actually one of the band’s lightest and most listenable works, touching on aspects of all their great records to date (except maybe for Monomania, which seems like WHEAD’s spiritual antithesis). Grey colored vinyl housed in heavy matte embossed jacket with printed inner sleeve including full album lyrics and detailed credits, recommended.
- grey colored vinyl
- embossed cardboard jacket
- heavy matte printed inner sleeve w/ full album lyrics
- digital download included
- music label: 4AD 2019
reviewed by winston wolf 02/2019
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