Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

Hal­cyon Di­gest (4AD) In re­cent years, Deer­hunter has re­leased ma­te­rial on cas­sette and — in an­tic­i­pa­tion of Hal­cyon Di­gest — pub­lished on­line posters that en­cour­aged fans to print, pho­to­copy, and hang them around town. It sounds like these throw­back tac­tics could be overly pre­cious, but af­ter di­gest­ing Di­gest, I think I get it: the group is try­ing to re-cre­ate the age when in­die rock was mys­te­ri­ous and cool and com­fort­ing all at once. The al­bum is rife with lean, lo-fi gui­tar tones and lyrics like, “Come on, lit­tle boy, I am your friend/And I un­der­stand the pain you’re in,” which are, in­cred­i­bly, sung with­out irony. Di­gest is poignant, ad­ven­tur­ous, and — par­tic­u­larly if you came of age lis­ten­ing to the in­die rock of the 1980s and ’ 90s — a bit sexy, too. The al­bum is split be­tween con­cise, hook-laden songs and slower, more sprawl­ing ex­cur­sions, such as the shim­mer­ing tracks that book­end the al­bum. The two ap­proaches meet half­way on the stand­out “De­sire Lines,” a bit of in­fec­tious pop-punk that shifts gears into a long Krautrock jam. On ini­tial lis­tens, Di­gest sounds too tex­tu­rally sim­i­lar from start to fin­ish. Once you dis­re­gard that ini­tial per­cep­tion, what you find are gui­tars that sparkle, drums that su­perbly slip in and out of the mix, and lines of lyrics that in­ces­santly wres­tle one an­other. It’s quite some­thing. — Robert B. Ker

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