Elevate Difference

Cryptograms

Cryptograms, Deerhunter’s first album on Kranky, is the product of an extremely tumultuous time in the band’s life. After losing a member, the band tried recording the album in a single day early 2005. Deemed a failure at the time, this session makes up the first half of this album - a discordant, noisy, at times psychedelic tangle of guitars and yelps. “Cryptograms” and “Lake Somerset” take some elements of drone and noise rock and combine them with psychedelic elements, to make them more palatable, but no less interesting. The second half, recorded in another single day - this time in November 2005 - seems like a different band at times. The track “Spring Hall Convert,” starts with the lyric “And I woke up,” and sounds exactly like that, a rebirth of a band who had to overcome a lot to make this record. The pop (in the traditional sense) elements are more present in this second half, which is more hum-able and accessible, but, also no less challenging than the first half. “Strange Lights,” my favorite track on the album, sounds like something that could have been made by a modern band transported back to the 1960s to blow everyone away. Cryptograms, while seemingly sonically schizophrenic, is actually a complete description of the growth and evolution, personal and musical, of a band who is sure to become one of the most talked about of 2007.

Written by: Dana Reinoos, January 10th 2007

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