Release Date: Jun 9, 2009
Record label: Kranky
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
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.
There are several reasons why Deerhunter are one of the most exciting young bands to emerge from this decade, but it seems that, between talk of genre-discarding experiments and Bradford Cox’s intensely compelling persona, many people seem to forget the most simple, obvious one: Cox and company know how to write a damn good tune. And if the band’s often-elusive, straight-ahead pop sensibilities were obscured in the haze of Microcastle‘s grand fragility, they’re fully felt on Rainwater Cassette Exchange—five compact songs that don’t seem to care much what their neighbors are up to, each self-sustaining, each undemanding, each perfectly enjoyable. It’s clear why none of these tracks found a home on Microcastle, or even its more schizophrenic companion album, Weird Era Cont.
“I remember cassettes, cathedrals,” Bradford Cox half-sings, half-sighs on ‘Vox Humana’, the choked, sensual, velvet-rich core to Deerhunter’s Weird Era Cont. It’s a quiet, eerie moment on a quiet, eerie record, the hellfires of Turn It Up Faggot finally extinguished completely, few traces of their ravages in the album’s hazy expanse of quiescent shoegaze and pre-Beatles pop, quietly slipped out in the same package as last year’s ‘official’ album Microcastle. Following a leak that stopped Weird Era...
Everybody's dying just to get the disease. Confidential to the celebs in surgical masks: If there's a real pandemic, we're all already born with it. No, not swine flu, bird flu, monkey pox, SARS, or West Nile virus. Not even anthrax, that post-9/11, pre-Iraq War worry most people appeared to forget overnight.
A band like Deerhunter is synonymous with any word that signifies consistency. Whether they are releasing music for free or just the mere fact that there always seems to be a small goodie at their shows, they also release music at a consistently solid pace. Last year, they delivered the stunningly magnificent double album, Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.