Album Review

Grouper – “Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill ” – [Type Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   8/26/2008   A Library, CD

If I am ever dying out in the wilderness, having run into a
bear or slipped off a craggy ravine’s edge, this is the
music that I want to come to me. Liz Harris remains one of
the leading candidates for most merciful angel of death
going. Her voice cloaked in reverby robes, her guitar as
sparse and ethereal as the thinnest stretches of atmosphere.
Through the clouds on this, one can almost me see the
underlying pop music…are those songs there, brother or
has my blood fled me and now hallucinations are fed me?
I thought I saw an Animal Collective come to pay last rites,
as I take a Slowdive into the eternal night. Harris sings
really well with herself, canyon echo of overdub. And really
despite name-dropping a few other bands, she is really her
own woman (or in case of the overdubs, her own women). It’s
just that this felt a little poppier than earlier outstanding
work from Grouper, maybe a function of Type as the label?
Either way it is a gorgeous album, one that has a nice flow
for repeated play after play. I love the little electric
storm that initiates the album, a nice study in electric
pastoral. Maybe a meteorite is what struck me down out in
the wilderness, should have stayed inside and listened to
this over and over.

-Thurston Hunger

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