Deerhunter: Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?


Jan 25, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If you have been watching Deerhunter on Instagram you know that whenever the mood strikes, frontman Bradford Cox just starts streaming wherever he is. It could be at a sound-check before a show, where they just debuted a new song they wrote in Japan, or it could be them working out lyrics, driving to the studio, him jamming remotely with complete strangers, or recording their newest album. Work presented as distraction, or more appropriately, distraction presented as liberation. This forward-looking play among the ruins of (yes, I’m going to say it) late-capitalist decay is the pronounced worldview underlying the sound of and activity surrounding Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

There are maybe three instances where guitars are prominent in the mix on the album. That itself is a radically pioneering approach for a band that in the past has had nearly all of its work focalized through its inventive, but importantly, always evolving approach to guitar. Knowing that it had been exhausted, the band made the decision to kill its darling and soldier on. Now, when guitars appear they are shivering pirouettes designed to mark out the contours of the stately percussion, bells, and keys that predominate.

Opener, “Death in Midsummer” begins with a lilting harpsichord phrase as Cox gently intones about those who would be swept into the ash heap of history. The track’s solemn subject matter and very real concern with the erasure of a collective history is buoyantly contrasted by the sheer accessibility of the hook. This simultaneous embrace of both doubt and persistence is a hallmark Deerhunter characteristic, newly arisen to the foreground. Elsewhere, “Element” depicts intuition as beyond the capabilities of reason over keys and strings that zig and zag like an amoeba suspended in a solution and “Tarnung” sounds like a chrome rainforest where all the sounds reflect off each other’s surfaces, the insects themselves mechanized, buzzing according to predetermined programming.

Underneath it all, Deerhunter are still a band that are completely beholden to music’s ability to spiritually transcend even the worst state of things. If you really pay attention, you will be infected by this attitude, eat some hummus, and maybe start something yourself. (

Author rating: 8/10

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