Album Review | INDIE-ROCK

Deerhunter, ‘Monomania’

Forever in pursuit of drama and difference, frontman Brandon Cox surrenders to his rock ’n’ roll monomania on Deerhunter’s fifth album by breaking down the sound of his revered Atlanta band. Up through the 2010 tour de force “Halcyon Days,” the singer and his shifting lineup had built up the concept of “ambient punk” until they towered above an overpopulated indie-rock scene full of dreamy textures, opaque lyrics, and ringing guitar. Now Deerhunter risks that distinction by careening both into mechanized din — the title track closes with what sounds like a dirt bike in need of a tuneup — and spare lo-fi wispiness — the next track opens with a strummed acoustic guitar and Cox warbling, “I was spinning my Big Wheels.” For the album’s driving first half, the messiness is captivating, culminating in “Dream Captain,” reminiscent of T. Rex on “Bang a Gong.” The second half teeters on standard bohemian dissipation, but with a sly and rare self-knowingness. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Dream Captain”