Deerhunter
Weird Era Cont.


3.5
great

Review

by robertsona STAFF
March 12th, 2010 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the best working bands today relaxes a little.

Pinning down Weird Era Cont. as a set of "B-sides" or "throwaways" would be a move bound to get me some dirty glares from Deerhunter's most fervent fans, and, in a way, they would be right for shunning those who dismiss it in that manner: Weird Era Cont. doesn't really feel like a "continuation" of Microcastle (with which the album was a bonus disc), and it certainly doesn't sound all that much like Microcastle, either. However, as evident as this is, one can't shake the feeling that the band simply didn't spend all too much time on this one, simply giving a few of their songs lying around a "lo-fi" sheen and sending them off on their way.

The thing is, that's not necessarily a bad thing: Deerhunter, known for their often top-notch songwriting, are the type of band whose "B-sides" would kick the ass of many other indie band's singles, and Weird Era Cont. indeed demonstrates this. Plus, after the heaviness of Microcastle, it's nice to see the band simply jam around with what they've got and not worry all that much about the effect it has on the listener. Sometimes, the results are fantastic: shoegazer "Vox Celeste" shows the band rocking out like never before, letting the song's simple melodies fade into in a wash of fuzzy guitars and faint vocals (note: it's also the closest you'll get to a live Deerhunter show without actually attending one). The similarly titled "Vox Humana", with its "Be My Baby" drum intro and plinking pianos, is also a standout, in part because Cox's fantastic lyrical imagery comes off as oddly touching.

However, Weird Era Cont. also has a lack of continuity about it, in stark contrast to Microcastle. The band probably wouldn't have dared stick the thirty-second "Ghost Outfit" on the latter, the track simply consisting of a reversed sample with some uneasy bass notes interspersed. The song is somewhat pleasurable as it is, but it still feels like random and unnecessary--dare I say it--filler. Other, lengthier tracks are bound to be seen as less essential too, among them the frightening guitar loops of "Weird Era", which may slightly disconcert the listener, but probably won't interest them very much, either.

However, the standout tracks (opener "Backspace Century", both of the "Vox" tracks, the strangely hypnotizing "Slow Swords") make it all worth it in the end, and the band close the album on a smart note: with a kickass version of Microcastle's "Cavalry Scars". On Microcastle, the song was the first in a trilogy of quick, emotionally harrowing tracks. It was driven mostly by a simple guitar line, clicking noises, and Bradford Cox's agonizing lyrics ("crucified on a cross / in front of all my closest friends"). Here, the song loses its minimalist touch and is blown up completely, into a jangly shoegaze track that slowly builds momentum for about seven-and-a-half minutes, until its ambient ending safely floats the album to its end. Whether you prefer the succinct nature of the Microcastle version shouldn't matter all too much; what does is that Deerhunter have successfully made an introverted song into an extroverted one: the song goes from shuffling its hands nervously to jumping up and down raucously.

This new version of "Cavalry Scars" perfectly demonstrates what Deerhunter are doing here: the band isn't trying to replace Microcastle, or perhaps even improve on it. Weird Era Cont. acts as a little gift to the fans, and, for those who stuck around, it is indeed rewarding. As any Deerhunter fan knows, even something as simple as a collection of "jam sessions" is worth something. A lot, even.



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user ratings (387)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Lewis EMERITUS (4)
Weird Era Cont. is an interesting and flushed back-to-basics escape from Microcastle's thought-provo...



Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2010


27480 Comments


somehow i really stupidly posted this under microcastle but that should be fixed soon enough.


waiting to get downer'd.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2010


27480 Comments


this is also actually somewhat of a low 3.5. sadface. nighty night everyone!

liledman
March 13th 2010


3828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album, good review. vox celeste is one of their best songs.

AggravatedYeti
March 13th 2010


7683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really still need to hear this.



good review too Alex.

Electric City
March 13th 2010


15756 Comments


this is a lot better than the cryptograms review. only qualm is that by spending much of the review keyed in on one song, the review finishes too quickly. Intro's great and it sets up a great overview of the album, but that doesn't come.

rasputin
March 13th 2010


14967 Comments


i like this cd a lot, almost as much as microcastle (almost)

Kiran
Emeritus
March 13th 2010


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

for some reason i dont listen to this anywhere near as much as i listen to microcastle. cant even remember the last time i did.

robin
March 13th 2010


4596 Comments


i adore this album. i wish they made stuff as disjointed as this all the time.

joshuatree
Emeritus
March 13th 2010


3744 Comments


hey let's review stuff there's already a better review for

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2010


27480 Comments


aw damnit i guess that means i shouldnt review liars' sisterworld, jj's jj no3, paul baribeau's grand ledge haha get it

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2010


27480 Comments


btw i dont read reviews that arent mine if im gonna be really honest. i mean come on guys do you actually do that shit

it's so boring

Electric City
March 13th 2010


15756 Comments


btw i dont read reviews that arent mine if im gonna be really honest.


how do you think that's working out for you

Kiran
Emeritus
March 13th 2010


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i dont know about you robertson but my reviews play out like bruce willis movies

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2010


27480 Comments


well duh of course i read kirgasm reviews but uh i thought that was a given

Kiran
Emeritus
March 13th 2010


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thats a good point, im surprised i overlooked that, my inflated sense of self-importance must be waning



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