Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Deerhunter: Monomania [4AD, 2013]
Consider me converted, at least until Bradford Cox lurches off in yet another direction. Here he opts for the kind of lo-fi garage scuzz that's always said to come bearing melodic emoluments and seldom does except in its punker forms--and now this progger one. Well into its 12 songs in 43 minutes, the tunes maintain as reliably as classic Ramones, one after another after another. Not that they're nearly as neat--there's distortion everywhere, vocalsguitarskeyboardsnotessounds. But for once the distortion just adds savor the way it's supposed to, as do the three trickier and less ingratiating ear-stickers that close. As for themes, whaddaya think? He's alienated, heartsick, confused. OK, fella. Just keep putting that time in at the garage. A