Track Review – Breaker / Deerhunter

Ever heard Deerhunter and thought ‘this could use a little more… Mac DeMarco?’. Because instrumentally, that’s exactly what you get on ‘Breaker’. Lyrically, however, Bradford Cox seems to directly reference his well-documented car accident at the end of last year with lyrics like ‘Jackknifed on the side-street crossing’ and ‘They’re trying to kill me’. Of course, Cox pushes it beyond a car accident and wonders whether if he died what he was during his life really mattered. He claims ‘I tried’, which is all he wants people to remember him for. The chorus, where the drumming comes out of fuzziness and the guitar becomes less jangly instead sees Cox ‘Breaking the waves’ and ‘stemming the tide’, though he knows it’s pointless.

The instrumentation, as mentioned before, is an instant reference point of Mac DeMarco. The chirpy, Hawaiian-tinged guitars wouldn’t have gone amiss on any of Mac’s releases. It’s a little bit out of place with what is a completely different band with different themes, so when the chorus comes around it’s a welcome change. The happiness and sunshine is broken for multi-tracked vocals and a guitarline that weaves around the other instrumentation. The bridge is another dip into another genre; the same sort of psychedelic tendencies that the latter half of ‘Snakeskin’ or most tracks from Halcyon Digest indulged in. It hardly lasts long and cuts directly back to the funky verses, which is a jarring move back from one kind of genre to another. Still, the song is very in-keeping with the image that Deerhunter is presenting for their new album.