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Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings

  by Andrew Hare

published: 10 / 5 / 2007

Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings
Label: Carpark Records
Format: CD


Surreal and danceable but not totally satisfactory indie pop from American singer-songwriter Dan Deacon

I don’t know what disturbs me most about Dan Deacon: The fact that he uses helium addled vocoder effects to my childhood hero Woody Woodpecker’s formerly benevolent giggle turning it into a horrifying clownish cackle, or the fact that I could see Justin Timberlake getting down to it. Where oh where, is our fractured and fucked-up postmodern culture taken us? Dan Deacon’s absurdly titled 'Spiderman of The Rings'” brings up a number of issues of musical propriety, all in a nice demented yet danceable debut. Deacon’s music seems to contradict the traditional far-out notions of indie rock, freak folk, outsider art, and transgressive forms by being somehow too damn accessible. 'The Crystal Cat' packages a seemingly brilliant blend of everything that’s new and exciting about contemporary music in 2007 into a 4 minute hit. I can’t help, however, but get the feeling that he’s trying to hard. Like somehow managing to follow a formula to music that isn’t supposed to have one. Get it? Me either. That being said the album is very solid. 'Wham City' has a ridiculous sing-a-long that will have you singing about a fountain that flows gold into a huge hand that is held by a bear, and gets even more incomprehensible if you can manage to follow the plot. 'Snake Mistakes' also has some of the sweetest lyrics of anything in 2007. A sample: “My Dad is so cool he is the coolest dad in dad school.” Wow. The second-hand/found electronic equipment Deacon uses on the album can only be described as retro-future-6 year-old music. The instrumentation, and especially the high pitched vocal screeching Deacon likes, can seem a little stale at times but in general Deacon mixes it up enough loops, beats, effects, and inane lyrics to keep the audience interested. So where does Deacon fit in the indie scene? How accessible is this music? All I can say is that it probably sounds like something you’ve never heard before, but totally have at the same time. But hey I can’t hate on a dude who writes about “dad school.”

Track Listing:-
1 Woody Woodpecker
2 The Crystal Cat
3 Wham City
4 Big Milk
5 Okie Dokie
6 Trippy Green Skull
7 Snake Mistakes
8 Pink Batman
9 Jimmy Joe Roche
10 World Of Hair (The Ram Ones)
11 Mamahaha
12 Bronst
13 Ultimate Reality

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