Deerhunter mortally impaired the collective hearing of all Capitol Hill cools Thursday night at Neumos in Seattle America. Bradford Cox, the emaciated brainchild of these crooked Atlanta instrumental-cases, had a slight wrench thrown into the band's sybaritic mix when earlier in the month guitarist Colin Gee abruptly left the band. The gaping hole in Deerhunter's sternum was spackled shut by Cox himself who now plays guitar in addition to inciting the repetitive droning of his perpetual vocals that kept last night's performance from fully liquidating my rainy city like a category five hurricane.
"We're just getting used to playing as a four-piece," Cox mentioned midway through the band's savage arrangement. "And these are not even our instruments," the unusual artist explained in his Jesus and Mary Chain shirt. "Not to apologize or anything, because I think you are getting your money's worth."
The band confronts their live shows like a speeding bus with numerous allowances for Cox to jump off of without politely requesting a stop. The twig-screamer then leaps back onto the speeding vessel through some unorthodox hole, like a window or the tailpipe. Once the frail bag of bones is locked in, the dramatic results are staggering like the collapsing of your apartment roof when the upstairs neighbor and his fat fucking girlfriend fall through the floor after having heavy-people sex.
Once the initial smashing of souls ceased, Deerhunter aired out the spacious aria "Intro" which then skated into the neon cool of "Cryptograms" from their LP of the same name on Kranky. Cox seemed not only sober but also chipper as he introduced "Hazel Street" which quickly rushed to meet "Dr. Glass" then set off to catch "Spring Hall Concert". The muffled bass on "Wash Off" sounded fuzzier than a sputtering El Camino up a one-way hill of broken carcasses. After striking what he called a "Stereolab" chord with the unimpressed audience of Seattle sleepies, the Atlanta Braves ripped into "Fluorescent Grey," "Octet," and "Strange Lights" for the mighty closer.
Cox, who sported a mean 1980's surfer cut, seemed more normal off stage than while screaming on it. I overheard him talk in his wrinkled falsetto squeak to a fan about Jeff Buckley. He seemed bright and alive in those valuable moments of off duty sincerity. On stage Cox appeared possessed, almost demented with a sickness that acts as the powerful translator for the indecipherable messages which spill from the ATL kid's lustrous brain and into our traumatized hearts.
The live Deerhunter experience in Seattle was something and I'm absolutely OK with still not knowing exactly how to explain what the fuck happened, much like absurd doses of random life. Such a mute conundrum is the ascending beauty and, according to some journalists, the horror of the band Deerhunter. Its very amusing to me that in the early days, some fool yelled out Turn It Up Faggot, which became the title of their first album. Deerhunter's live spectacle is just as much of a baffling slug of palatial noise as their recorded albums. Both are ferocious and arresting.
To give you a better, albeit safer and modulation efficient perspective on just how perplexingly exquisite a live Deerhunter performance can be, check this astonishingly flawless bootleg from July 2007 @ Caldeonia, which can be downloaded right here