Personally, I found Deerhunter’s Cryptograms to be an utterly maddening experience. While most found the album’s stop-go pace charming, if irritating at times, I found it unbearable; you don’t separate chapters of a brilliant novel with pages of keyboard smashings. I tried time after time to appreciate the albums flaws as artistic eccentricities, and time after time, I failed. In a fit of frustration, I deleted the files from my hard-drive, and never listened to Cryptograms again. For that reason, I approached Deerhunters latest EP, Fluorescent Grey with no small amount of apprehension.You can’t imagine how hard my jaw hit the floor when I realized I loved it.
Of course, I shouldn’t be so surprised; an EP is, in theory, a streamlined and user-friendly mini-album. To say that Fluorescent Grey is the epitome of that concept is a massive understatement. It takes everything I loved about Crytograms, removes any trace of what I hated, and condenses it into sixteen minutes of sheer brilliance. It’s such a sleeker, sharper experience than it’s predecessor, that it’s hard to believe that Deerhunter weren’t under the influence of some very heavy narcotics when they arranged Cryptograms. It’s only April, and the category isn’t exactly star-studded, but Fluorescent Grey is undoubtedly the best EP I’ve heard so far this year.