Classic EP Review: Deerhunter- Fluorescent Grey

Artist: Deerhunter
Full Title: Fluorescent Grey EP
Year: 2007
Label: Kranky
Tracks:
1) Fluorescent Grey- 9
2) Dr. Glass- 7/8
3) Like New- 7
4) Wash Off- 9
Comments: Fluorescent Grey is a strong release from the always mind blowing Deerhunter. FG is a good middle ground between the more experimental aspects of Deerhunter’s earlier career and what would become their far more accessible, pop driven style in future albums. In this sense, this EP is a nice companion to their then previous LP Cryptograms (2007), as they often appear together as one full package. FG is representative of the more traditional pop song half of Cryptograms, leaving the more experimental, ambient half behind for this release. In some ways, Deerhunter recycles many of the same ideas and sounds from that record, but overall the songs are so strong it really doesn’t matter. I can’t say there’s a huge progression, except maybe in the title track, which is easily one of the group’s finest songs in all of their catalog, but who cares?! This is an EP, and a great one at that. Deerhunter’s lesser works are half your average band’s strongest records, if even that. Anyway, I love the opening guitar riff to FG and the vocals are really creepy, but what stands out the most is definitely when the song “explodes” midway through after Bradford utters the classic line “you were my God in high school.” Just everything about the song is fantastic, the simple drums the contrast between mellow, calm vibes and complete chaos, violence; a great microcosm for Deerhunter as a whole. The next two tracks “Dr. Glass” and “Like New” are pretty solid and demonstrate the band’s talent as songwriters, but they are not on par with the first last and tracks. Speaking of which, “Wash Off, ” the final song is now one of my favorites from these guys. It’s a really catchy song, and the guitars sound like they are from some sort of 80s John Hughes flick: it simultaneously displays the pop side of them with the equally bizarre side of their music. In terms of lyrics, these are some of the most fascinating I’ve seen from Bradford (actually that could be said for all the songs here)- I love how it gets really manic and wild when Bradford starts singing “I was sixteen” over and over again. For whatever reason, it just makes the music seem that much more intriguing and strange for that matter. WO really showcases the Punk, Garage, if you will side to the band, which is usually there, but not as apparent. Here, Bradford, Lockett, Josh, Colin, and Moses place their Atlanta roots on their sleeves. I feel like this track perfectly captures the frenetic aspect of early Deerhunter in perhaps a bit more soothing fashion, but very tight and purposeful, and that’s the way I like it! So, now after hearing this EP, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to actually sit down and listen to all four of these songs as one collective. Without a doubt, a sound record and as with all of Deerhunter’s releases, powerful enough to stand alone, but shares that wonderfully distinctive, calmly menacing quality that runs throughout all of Deerhunter’s discography.

Grade: 8/10

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