Track Review – Snakeskin / Deerhunter

For a band as chameleon-like as Deerhunter, ‘Snakeskin’ is a pretty safe bet. It falls in the same category as 2013’s Monomania, with a Deerhunter twist of southern-psychedelia bolted on for good measure. They stay away from their shoegazier elements that they briefly visited on Halcyon Digest, which is a shame as that was the form which brought the most critical and commercial success. Still, the weirdness has always in Bradford Cox’s lyrics. The first line is ‘I was born already nailed to the cross’, which could come across as morbid if it wasn’t aided by bright guitars, a funky bassline and rattlesnake rattles. He also sings ‘I lost my marbles all over the pink, pink cage’, building up the weirdness of the character that Cox paints, or even himself.

The latter half of the track dives back into the more psychedelic parts of Deerhunter. The guitars take a backseat and sinister synths take over, completely changing the track from country-affected rock into glitchy psychedelics. I was disappointed that the synths simply faded away at the end, as they seemed to be building up at one part, but any momentum is lost. I almost wanted those effected-up ‘Helicopter’ guitar strums to bring the song to a close, but instead it fizzes out. For fans of Monomania, ‘Snakeskin’ will be a hug from an old friend. For those who favoured early-to-Halcyon Digest Deerhunter, ‘Snakeskin’ sure has elements of that era, such as the elongated fade-out, but the track panders more to the straight-up southern-rock of Monomania. Not a bad thing, but an unexpected refusal to evolve; which equally could be faulted as more tracks dribble out.