Monday, April 06, 2009
Far from being the singalong songfest that most communally minded albums are, Deacon works a whole ‘nother angle. Bonding happy dancers with DIY-style electronica (as happens effortlessly every time he plays) fleshed out with live drums, percussion and the odd horn section create a noisy and exuberant blast of an album, like a giant friendly hyper-intelligent car alarm, you can’t ignore it.
It’s been said before but Deacon’s greatest qualities, his openness and strident joviality, are rendered brilliantly incarnate on Bromst (the title referring to the tent you can see above, a miniature one comes free with the CD for miniature communal fun). Buzzing keys, frantic rhythms, pitch-shifted vocals, and percussion quantised beyond playability; it’s as exciting as it is dense. At first the lack of unfettered organic sounds or discernable lyrics is off-putting and makes you wonder why Dan gets all the props while our own Talkshow Boy languishes at the bottom of house-party bills, but then the scope and mission Deacon is on becomes apparent.
The cover and song titles evoke nature while the sounds are bursting with life and irrepressible movement despite sounding as if it could have been made in a basement on an iBook. As an effort to focus his manic energy and turn it into shared frivolity, Bromst is a blast, literally. Deacon uses tones like laser beams shooting you in the arse and making you get up get into it and get involved, and you can’t argue with that.
There are a number of atmospheric shifts though; Surprise Stefani and Run For Your Life sound the most fun minimalism has ever had, Snookered begins like a tinkly ballad from Vespertine before turning into a Kraftwerk album played on 45rpm, while Wet Wings sees an ancient vocal round looped and delayed and morph into a celestial cacophony. There is a recurring feel of The Wicker Man on amphetamines about this record, if the islanders were toasting marshmallows instead of incinerating a virginal policeman, which is no bad thing. Overall, it’s his blistering call to get out of your chair and start loving each other that drives Bromst, as it does his live shows. Tracks like the ridiculous, turbo-charged indiscernible rap of Woof Woof and the manic arpeggios of…pretty much everything else, are as likely to appeal to 5 year olds as much as to the discerning fan of the rest of Mistletone’s roster.