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Microcastle


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Audio CD, October 28, 2008
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Amazon's Deerhunter Store

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Videos

Deerhunter - "Memory Boy"

Biography

Deerhunter is an American four-piece indie rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art rock, shoegaze, and post-punk, as well significant pop elements.
The band was co-founded ... Read more in Amazon's Deerhunter Store

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Microcastle + Halcyon Digest + Monomania (LP+MP3)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 28, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Kranky
  • ASIN: B001E7QLJW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,960 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Cover Me
2. Agoraphobia
3. Never Stops
4. Little Kids
5. Microcastle
6. Calvary Scars
7. Green Jacket
8. Activa
9. Nothing Ever Happened
10. Saved by Old Times
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Backspace Century [*]
2. Operation [*]
3. Ghost Outfit [*]
4. Dot Gain [*]
5. Vox Celeste [*]
6. Cicadas [*]
7. Vox Humana [*]
8. VHS Dream [*]
9. Focus Group [*]
10. Slow Swords [*]
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Here it is, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2007's Cryptograms album which launched the band into the stratosphere of hype. Whether or not that was or is deserved is entirely subjective. Microcastle was recorded over the course of a week at Rare Book Studios in Brooklyn, New York with Nicolas Verhes in April of this year. The album was recorded as a four-piece consisting of Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Joshua Fauver, and Moses Archuleta. 'Saved by Old Times' features a vocal collage by Cole Alexander of the Black Lips, and the album also features two songs with lead vocals by guitarist Lockett Pundt, 'Agoraphobia', and 'Neither of Us, Uncertainly'.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Deerhunter's new album "Microcastle" is quite a departure from its predecessor "Cryptograms."
Greg Kinne
If Atlas Sound can provide Cox an outlet for his delicacy, Deerhunter to me should provoke him towards more aggressive, denser, and more paranoid (but in a good way!)
John L Murphy
I think if you give this album a chance you will find it to be one of the top releases of 2008.
Alexander M. Campolo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Cova on November 3, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Since 2001, Deerhunter - co-founded by Bradford Cox and Moses Archuleta - have produced three LPs and four EPs worth of astonishing "ambient punk" (their own description), picking up devotees and different musicians along the way. Their mantra - "To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance" (Jean Genet) (Fronted by openly gay and occasionally cross-dressing singer Bradford Cox, Deerhunter have earned themselves a formidable reputation for intense live performances in their native Atlanta).
4AD's first involvement with the band was to release Microcastle, their excellent third album. The follow-up to 2006's acclaimed Cryptograms, it was recorded over the course of a week at Rare Book Studios in Brooklyn, New York with Nicolas Verhes and was created as a four-piece, consisting of Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Joshua Fauver and Moses Archuleta. Most tracks feature Cox on lead vocals except "Agoraphobia" and "Neither of Us, Uncertainly" where guitarist Pundt is the main provider and "Saved by Old Times", which includes a vocal collage by Cole Alexander of "The Black Lips".
The sounds on Microcastle form a lush landscape. Ethereal voices blend into battered guitars and a determined rhythm section.
Microcastle has more fully formed songs and vocals, although Cox's narcotic mumble is generally half buried under layers of reverb, feedback and other guitar noise as well as tape loops and electronica. Just don't look for information about who's doing what in the minimal sleeve notes, and forget about analyzing the lyrics, since Cox seems firmly of the words-as-musical-tools school of song writing. Praise Be!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I liked "Cryptograms" PIL-type assaults better than its bliss-out comedown tracks. This new CD may, therefore, please listeners who favor the softer side, akin more to Bradford Cox's solo project Atlas Sound. Since I love shoegazing, "Microcastles" satisfied me especially in its later tracks on disc one. These built up to thunderous feedback, and like tracks 3 and 5 on the first disc, showed a fuller band sound that appealed more to me than the many songs that, stripped-down and simpler, seemed more like home demos recorded by Cox himself.

The strongest tunes, as on the previous CD, remain those with a full-on wave of mutilation. They can begin softly, tentatively, before cresting, nearly without you realizing it, into giant splashes of sonic boom. This characteristic of Deerhunter's delivery, to me, shows the talent that they're capable of as a forceful unit, instead of anyone expecting only a Cox-led group of back-up players using the older band's name.

My son heard Jesus & Mary Chain here and there; I heard Grandaddy! The range of influences distorted and sensitive, beyond a less overdriven My Bloody Valentine, does account for the intelligence of the songwriter and his bandmates. The experimental confidence on "Cryptograms" isn't as extended as I'd expected on "Microcastle." It's there, but it ebbs and flows. The record's tracking may account for lulls, especially midway, but these must be intentional to offset the amplified tracks; this same distribution of tone and pace for structure can be heard on "Cryptograms."

There's not many bands an older fan (me) and a younger (my son) can share, and this breadth of vision that Deerhunter's been entering holds promise for their career as a band, rather than a more famous musician and his crew.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Let me state a couple of things upfront: (1) I am still catching up on some of the good/great albums from 2008 that I haven't really had a chance to really listen to in depth until recently; and (2) I would not have known about this album but for the good folks at internet-only WOXY (BAM!! The Future of Rock and Roll!), which is the best indie-music station in the country, bar none.

Deerhunter's third album, "Microcastle/Weird Era Continued" (2 CDs; 25 tacks; 83 min.) is obviously a very ambitious studio double-album. On CD1 "Microcastle" (12 tracks; 41 min.), lead singer and songwriter Bradford Cox has become more accessible than ever before. Check out "Never Stops", which could be a radio single, and the outright rocking "Nothing Ever Happened". Not that Deerhunter has lost its "off the beaten track" touch, check out the title track, "Active" and "Calvart Scars", among others. The adventures continue on CD2 "Weird Era Continued" (13 tracks; 42 min.), as "Backspace Century" crashes in. CD2 is more "off the cuff" and at times reminds me of Beck (see "Ghost Outfit", for example). Songs like "Vox Humana" remind me of the Besnard Lakes.

In all, this is a terrific album, even though at 80+ min. it is quite a lot to take in. I have not had the opportunity yet to see these guys in concert, but hopefully 2009 will give me the opportunity to finally do so. Looking forward to that! Meanwhile, this ambitious album is highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greg Kinne on July 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Deerhunter's new album "Microcastle" is quite a departure from its predecessor "Cryptograms." The reason that this album is a departure is because it is a lot more immediate than their previous works. The album starts off with ambient sounds on "Cover Me Slowly" before abruptly shifting into full band mode on "Agoraphobia." Current single, "Never Stops" sounds like something the Pixies might have forgotten to include on "Surfer Rosa," which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"Little Kids" is a perfect slab of dream pop with just the right amount of sweeping distortion. The title track, "Microcastle" begins with a chorus-laden guitar and watery vocals before transitioning into a full Jesus and Mary Chain styled melody. Deerhunter preserve their ambient style with several songs before returning to the rock fold of "Nothing Ever Happened."

On this album, there's even room for an acoustic number, "Saved By Old Times" which references the sound collages and experiments in the lyrics. Album closers "Neither Of Us, Uncertainly" and "Twilight At Carbon Lake" shimmer appropriately in a spacey kind of way.

With this album, the bleeps and bloops that inhabit Deerhunter's songs are no longer the main focus. Deerhunter is less abstract than they were before but experimental elements still creep into their approach to song writing. Deerhunter sounds more like a band now than an experiment in sound, and I think that's a step in the right direction.

High Recommendation.
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