Classic Review: Deerhunter- Carve Your Initials..

Full Title: Carve Your Initials Into the Walls of the Night
Artist: Deerhunter
Year: 2005
1) Bright and Early
2) Cicadas
3) Rotation
4) But, I’m A Boy
5) Three Dolphins Melting Into Orange Wax
6) Snow Dogs
7) Dogs Are Cool
8) Homorobotic
9) Cordless
10) When I Taste Blood

Comments: On Saturday, December 12, 2009, Bradford Cox made this old, obscure, 2005 Deerhunter recording freely available to download from the Deerhunter blog ( He also had this to say: “Responding to several requests I have dug up an old copy of this 2005 Deerhunter CD-R. It features only me and Moses and is very experimental in nature. This was during our “tape phase” when we would often play shows as a duo (or as a trio with colin) playing only tape machines and vocal loops. Recorded live to 2-track cassette machine at Moses’ old house on North Ave & Ponce
“Mastered” at the Old Notown building on my dad’s ancient PC using Soundforge,
Scans of all orignal artwork from the Notown Xerox Machine included.”

Now, considering this was just a private recording not intended for official release this is more of a shout out then a review. It’s more of a way for me to keep things interesting and spread the word of some of Deerhunter’s lesser known work. I consider them to be one of the best Rock and Roll bands today and of all time, for that matter. This recording from 2005 is to me their most experimental and shows the different intricacies and dynamics of their sound and perhaps how it has evolved. What we hear on this recording is far different from much of their output and as I said far more experimental with practically none of the pop elements we are accustom to in Deerhunter’s music, which is totally fine and cool in a way. I always enjoy hearing something by a band that is completely different from anything else they have released.  At the same time, one can definitely see how this is Deerhunter and how these sounds/elements/vibes would eventually find their way into later works.  On this reocrding, we hear a lot of dance- club scene music (especially on “But, I’m a Boy) which could faintly be heard on their debut LP Turn It Up Faggot, also from 2005 (though recorded in 2003 or 2004).  Except on that record, they were far more beastial, garage, and chaotic- also there was a full band, if I’m not mistaken. Bradford always describes that record in a negative manner, saying they weren’t ready and that they were a young band.  That could be said about Carve Your Initals.. but I feel like this recording is actually the stronger of the two and feels more complete; I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I actually prefer Faggot, but this record (if you want to call it that) has its sound down pat and as far as experimentation goes, it seems like it is alway open to anything, while the former felt confined, albeit nice to rock and freak out to. There is a lot to be appreciated here and best of all it shows the potential and neat character of what would later become an amazing band.

I know I’m a  year and half late on this, but thanks for this free CD Bradford!

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