Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings

Not a month in, and we already have a winner for 'album title of the year'. However, Baltimore's eccentric showman Dan Deacon might not be winning any more awards for an album that will be adored by some but ignored by the majority. If I say he's the missing link between Aphex Twin and Kid Carpet, then that begins to explain the level of left-field kookiness Deacon is aiming for...

Spiderman of the Rings may benefit from being released during a time when electronic music seems to be flourishing. Deacon's live shows, clips of which are strewn over YouTube, have achieved a degree of word-of-mouth hype that has inevitably led to 'underground cool'. This album strives to mix the party dance anthems, intricate instrumentals and humorous monologues that have caused such a stir in the live arena. This 'intricacy' is clear, the music itself never failing to be multi-layered, containing all manner of beeps, farts and Casio tricks.

Where Deacon goes wrong is in trying to craft a whimsical playground in which to allow his songs to muck about in. By adding various vocal trickery and unneccessary vocals themselves, Deacon fudges it; Okie Dokie sounds like chipmunks guesting on a Go! Team track. Sadly, it becomes a very repetitive endeavour perhaps best left to live performance. Nevertheless, the playful weirdness hasn't worn thin by the time the epic Wham City comes around, and The Crystal City's lyric 'I got my facepaints on' will win over many a 21st Century raver.

Fans of current big-hitters like LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip should certainly investigate but I suspect many will come away, like me, finding this venture much too willingly quirky. If he decides to play it a tad straighter with the next album, Deacon may prove a talent worth getting excited about.



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