Aug 30, 2008

DON'T LET THE DEER DRAG YOU DOWN - Grouper - Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill CD/LP, Type Records, 2008

Even considerin' Liz Harris of Grouper's predilection for REM-state drones and those piano-and-vox moments on Tried, I can't say I saw this 4AD-weened babe a-comin'. I'll admit, I spun her last full-length, Wide, a few times and was optimistic that maybe there were a vision in there somewheres. Well, maybe I was jumpin' the proverbial. I was convinced there'd be a great Grouper record someday, but brother, this ain't it. When Harris' ideas bleed through, this approaches sumpthin special. Tracks like "Disengage" and the title cut wind the folk through the drone in long, soft braids. (And the recording's bloody gorgeous, as always.) Harris is takin' logical steps on those tracks, but that don't mean they been drained of surprises. The rest of Dragging A Dead Deer, however, is equal parts His Name Is Alive, Jessica Bailiff, and This Mortal Coil. Now, if that pedigree is really your cuppa, I can't think of a more suitable addition to yer shelf. Me? I had a Cranes record one time. That stuff works in David Lynch's movies and that's about it.
I might not be holdin' my breath for that great Grouper record no more, but I'm not really holdin' my nose at this neither, know whatta mean? The CD version can be got from Mimaroglu and Forced Exposure. Don't know 'bout the LP.