Album Review: Deerhunter – Snakeskin

Last year when I’d heard Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox was hit by a car and put into the hospital I was worried. Not only for the guy’s health, but for the future of Deerhunter. Cox is one of those artists that always seems to be working and putting out music. Whether it’s Deerhunter, Atlas Sound, or if he’s working with someone else. So the silence emanating from his musical world was a little more than deafening. Sure, Deerhunter’s last album, the highly underrated and extremely excellent Monomania, came out just two years and some odd change ago, but I’ll be honest I’m always ready for new Deerhunter.

Imagine my delight when just a couple of days ago it was announced that “something” was happening in the Deerhunter world. Updates to their website, Cox was taking over the AM dial in Atlanta for two hours last night, and strange pictures were appearing. Well, the news is here. Fading Frontier will be released on 4AD on October 16th and the first single has been released onto the world. “Snakeskin” is the funkiest thing I’ve ever heard come from the Deerhunter camp and I’m completely in love with it. Ben H. Allen III is back producing with the band and he’s added that bit of crispness that made Microcastle so inviting. Everything about this track is incredible. Bradford Cox sounds amazing and reinvigorated. The guitars sizzle and crack, and the rhythm section is tight as hell. Toward the end of the track it gets all weird and druggy, just like a great Deerhunter track should. Seriously folks, this is what they call a triumphant return.

It’s not like Deerhunter have ever put out anything sub par. I wasn’t a fan at first, but once I heard Microcastle things clicked for me. Bradford Cox is fussy and always evolving. He’s the kind of musician that loves details and things in-between the lines. Sound matters to the guy, and it shows in his music. A lot of folks didn’t seem to care for Monomania all that much. They were just kind of “meh” about it. But for me, that 4AD debut was yet another album about aesthetics and experimentation. Cox and company took things in a grittier direction, recording onto tape and live. It was still Deerhunter, just wearing a different outfit and wigs. Sticking a switchblade into the speaker to see what would happen.

So am I excited for Fading Frontier? Hell yes. You should be, too.

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