Critical Voices 2.0: Deerhunter’s Rainwater Cassette Exchange


“Doo….oooh…oooh you believe in love at first sight?” yodels Bradford Cox on “Rainwater Cassette Exchange,” the title track of the newest release by his widely loved—and overly hyped—Loveless-loving band, Deerhunter.

Surely, Urban Outfitting, and indie-scene-embracing youngsters across the internet believe in love at first listen, as they’ve fallen into Cox and company’s blissful shoegaze arrangements. From their media beginnings in 2007 with Cryptograms to 2008’s Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. bulky, 25 song release, the band acknowledges the power they have in the scene, and they’re riding that hype train with every release.

A short, five song EP release, Rainwater Cassette Exchange is to Microcastle as the Fluorescent Grey EP was to Cryptograms. These songs would not feel out of place alongside last years massive venture into My Bloody Valentine territory, but would go under-appreciated in a release that large.

Each of the songs draws from the band’s blissful mixture of lo(wer)-fi dynamics, Bealtes-esque simplicities, and droning garage rock. “Famous Last Words,” for example, bounces guitars and eerie choir around a pounding drum beat that makes sure to keep the song pumping, but doesn’t build the song’s character.

For the fifteen minutes of this EP, there will be little to grab listeners’ attention that the band hasn’t done already, as songs like “Disappearing Ink” and “Circulation” only repeat the formula of Microcastle-era songs like “Nothing Ever Happened” But fans should know by now that Deerhunter likes to stick to their unique style without any changes to the now weathered formula.

As the forerunners of modern shoegaze (or whatever current genre-name-creating professionals want to label this as), Deerhunter has found a unique sound and run with it. And unlike their countless counterparts in the modern indie scene, it’s not a bad thing for a good band to repeat themselves—just don’t expect a revolution.

Released on the internet on May 18th, the release is readily available to all the internet savvy; but for the collectors out there, June 8th brings the release of the 12” vinyl. Check out the title track at Sterogum.

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