Dan Deacon
Bromst


4.5
superb

Review

by Lewis P. STAFF
March 5th, 2009 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dan Deacon again, different.

It is a switch and he flips it. This “darker” album, this “more organic” sound, this vastly richer and more emotionally driven Deacon, it is just there, slipped unobtrusively into rock-solid foundation. Without having sacrificed anything that always made him Dan Deacon in the first place, that man-child with an affinity for ear-splitting, meat-cleaver synthetic hooks and Crayola art zaniness, Bromst becomes a rich tapestry for the depth and humanity always present in Deacon’s work but never showcased. Spiderman of the Rings brought to light emotions, a euphoric feeling when shoved into a throbbing room of bodies (at the center of which always stands Deacon, goofy ringleader extraordinaire), but it never led them; here, Deacon simply uncovers the heart buried in what still manages to be one of the most unabashedly good times set to record since Deacon’s breakthrough gem.

As unexpected as its depth and humanity is, what surprises most is how much fun Deacon is having with this “serious” stuff. As “Build Voice” builds, beginning in complete silence and slowly shuffling from the void, it already sounds full-bodied and confident, and a piano flutters, given so much character that it comes to life in true storybook Disney fashion, as if to be alive; on “Red F,” it’s simply singing through auto-tune. What other artist could make an inanimate object speak in riddles and still pound away with such spirited ferocity? What other artist could take a child’s tinkering mobile and make it ready for club rotation, as he articulates on the album’s “Wham City”-like centerpiece, “Snookered”?

Deacon once again evokes a sing-a-long, which empowers his uninhibited sighs that float upward like smoke: “Been round this road so many times / feel like its skin is part of mine / this taste of milk is almost gone / still got my shape, but not for long.” The song’s dissolve into fractured war chants is a singular delight in itself, but when Deacon drops in the percussion, ushering in a crumpled synth that burns along the edge, threatening to overtake the song by force, he pushes the song into the stratosphere of classic material with a blast of Fisher-Price instruments. Yes, this is the Deacon we all know and love, but he has honed his craft from novel oddities into beatbox anomalies like “Surprise Stefani,” stretched into post-rock ambience and anthemic arena-rock.

Best of all might be Bromst’s back half, where his manipulation of samples and an ear for noise rock allow Deacon to succeed as a songwriter on his own terms. “Woof Woof” is just too good, its canine sample dropped so perfectly into the murky, elastic bass line that it never fails to illicit chills. And the chipmunk voice, which is used sparsely over the hour-long running time, is an integral part of the show, and at times during “Woof Woof” it sounds like Deacon is looping it backwards, which all but turns the hooky, loopy, raucous number into a sprawling, uniquely defined mess if it weren’t so tightly wound. His use of horns in the noisy rock gusto of “Slow with Horns / Run For Your Life” is indelible, and if “Get Older” isn’t just a spellbinding, noisy free-for-all to rival any future noisy free-for-alls.

Deacon nips the synthetics that allowed Spiderman’s sandpaper production to grate, opting instead for smoothly textured layers, a trick that strengthens a brilliantly executed dance album into dramatically structured art. In many ways, Deacon’s one-man orchestra best parallels that of recent indie-rock champions, Animal Collective, whose songwriting mirrored a similar loyalty to its production until Merriweather Post Pavilion’s great plains aesthetic replaced safety net with sky. Bromst achieves this effect as a pop album ever expanding, with full, hearty [bromsty] percussion replacing the tin and crackle we already knew and loved, trusting that we can love a dance record with a very personal soul: that of Deacon, whose rather genial and charmingly serious personality shines through with remarkable intensity.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
gaslightanthem
March 5th 2009


5209 Comments


woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof

Awesome

ninjuice
March 5th 2009


6760 Comments


Best recommendations since Hanson's Blooddrunk list.

NortherlyNanook
March 5th 2009


1285 Comments


summary is goodThis Message Edited On 03.05.09

Spare
March 5th 2009


5320 Comments


lolawesome. I will get this.

tarethere
March 5th 2009


184 Comments


best parallels that of recent indie-rock champions, Animal Collective
baltimore baby

AtavanHalen
March 5th 2009


17927 Comments


Review is tripping balls.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 5th 2009


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you for resubmitting it

natey
March 5th 2009


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've listened to this so much.

rasputin
March 5th 2009


14550 Comments


summary and recommendations are so indie how do you manage to be so trendy lewis

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2009


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

2kool4relevance

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Capricious
March 5th 2009


58 Comments


I was hoping the whole review would be more to the tune of woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof.

Also was hoping maybe a spam review made the front page. Instead its some album. From a glance it needs less woof and "quotes". Good day.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
March 5th 2009


3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good music.

rasputin
March 5th 2009


14550 Comments


2kool4relevance

2straight4faggotry

upagainstthewall
March 6th 2009


838 Comments


yum

Spare
March 6th 2009


5320 Comments


Heard Build Voice. Fuck.
Need.

SeaAnemone
March 7th 2009


20587 Comments


Padding Ghost gives me chills.

Digging: Dirty Beaches - Stateless

StickmanSouffle
March 8th 2009


286 Comments


Sweeeeeeeeeeeet.

tarethere
March 9th 2009


184 Comments


yeah. this killz

BallsToTheWall
March 10th 2009


44713 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Is good.

Digging: Reverend Bizarre - Return to the Rectory

Knott-
Emeritus
March 13th 2009


10198 Comments


this is freaking awesome.



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