VERSUS: Deerhunter/The Dear Hunter

Remember when I said I might be doing something like this again? Well, I am!

THE CONTENDERS:

DEERHUNTER – Monomania

Deerhunter - Monomania

THE DEAR HUNTER – Migrant

The Dear Hunter - Migrant

THE STATS:

LABEL TYPE:

Deerhunter: Indie (4AD)

The Dear Hunter: Indie (Cave & Canary Goods, an imprint of Equal Vision Records)

TOTAL LENGTH:

Deerhunter: 43:21

The Dear Hunter: 50:23

NUMBER OF SONGS:

Deerhunter: 12

The Dear Hunter: 12

NUMBER OF SONGS WITH ONE-WORD TITLES:

Deerhunter: 4, but 6 if you count T.H.M. (an acronym) and Punk (a song with a parenthetical subtitle, La Vie Antérieure)

The Dear Hunter: 4, with no caveats

SOUNDS LIKE:

Deerhunter: Ty Segall fronting Real Estate, but somehow less interesting.

The Dear Hunter: The Mars Volta on Adderall playing with as few electronic elements as possible.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHT:

Deerhunter: the title track; it’s unhinged. Also: it ends with like 20 seconds of motorcycle sounds. Bonus?

The Dear Hunter: Whisper, a song that actually kind of feels like a deer galloping through the woods and/or snow.

HOW DOES THIS STUFF STACK UP AGAINST OTHER BANDS WITH “DEER” IN THEIR NAME, LIKE DEERHOOF?:

Deerhunter: Are you kidding me?

The Dear Hunter: Seriously?

WHAT?

Deerhunter: You know I hate Deerhoof, and I always will.

The Dear Hunter: They’re just so bad. So bad. Can’t stand ’em.

OKAY, SORRY. MY APOLOGIES. ANYWAYS…ANY SLEIGH BELLS? LIKE, THE PERCUSSION INSTRUMENT?

Deerhunter: A little, yeah.

The Dear Hunter: Lots.

WHAT ABOUT THE BAND SLEIGH BELLS?

Deerhunter: No. None.

The Dear Hunter: Also none.

THE WINNER:

THE DEAR HUNTER – Migrant

I’m kind of over Deerhunter; the only album of theirs I return to with any regularity is Cryptograms. Their other stuff is fine, but that’s all it is: fine. Monomania would’ve easily been the victor here if every song cut loose like Leather Jacket II or the title track – but they don’t. And as a result, I feel like the album’s holding back much of the time.

As for The Dear Hunter, I checked out for a bit after 2009’s Act III: Love and Death, so I don’t know whatever came of the two-and-a-half hour Color Spectrum thing they did, but listening to Migrant made me glad I came back to them. It’s a more consistent album in my eyes, and it never once gave me the thunderous disappointment I felt on Monomania when Leather Jacket II petered out abruptly into The Missing. Yeesh. What a drag that was.

Both albums can be streamed in their entirety on Spotify; you can purchase Monomania directly from 4AD, and Migrant from Equal Vision Records.

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