Deerhunter – Fading Frontier Review

Deerhunter are an American rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 2001 consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Lockett Pundt and Josh McKay. Now on their seventh full length album Deerhunter have just released ‘Fading Frontier’, in which guitarist, vocalist and front man Cox has drawn upon a variety of influences from Pedro Almodovar, Tom Petty and ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’ era R.E.M. However, its arguably the car accident, that left him with a broken pelvis and jaw, in ‘incredible’ pain and on anti depressants, that put him into a deep depression whilst simultaneously reshaping his ideas of home and security, that have been Cox’s biggest influence.

Fading Fronteir is Deerhunter’s most uplifting, pop infused album to date consisting of 9 tracks that cover just over 36 minutes of relaxed, melodic sounds. Throughout the album it is often awash with glossy synths, uplifting melodies and ambiguous lyrics often seemingly surrounding the notion that happiness often seems to vanish. The opener ‘All The Same’ showcases a relaxed and smooth sound whilst offering up inspirationally homely lyrics such as – “Take your handicaps, channel them and feed them back until they become your strengths”. Tracks such as ‘Duplex Planet’ and ‘Breaker’ submerge themselves in smooth synths with ‘Take Care’ offering up chiming guitars flowing through the air, with a certain low-lit demeanor accompanying it. Although on the whole there is a somewhat uplifting melodic feel to the whole album, this is all relative, there are certainly more soaring melodies here than on their previous album ‘Monomania’ tracks such as ‘Leather and Wood’ offering dissonant piano sounds, flickers of agitated guitars and crawling tempo give a more intimate melancholic feel to the track than on others. Throughout the album there are enough straight fowardly commercial-sounding tracks that could turn Deerhunter from cult icon to mainstream success. The sprightly guitars and general feel of the album seem to fit into the commercial/chart category that will appeal to the masses, with not much to separate itself from other acts of the rock/indie genre.

Overall the album offers a well-produced, melodic sound (if perhaps a little to commercial and ‘safe’) that has the potential to reach the masses and impact commercially.

Deerhunter – Fading Frontier = 7/10

Matthew Kay