In recent years, Dan Deacon has been flirting with a potential problem that you could very well argue is of his own making – with his once prodigious rate of return having gradually slowed a little (he turned out eight releases between 2004 and 2009), the weight of expectation now increases with every record he does put out.

The situation is only amplified by the rapturous critical reception that his last album, 2012’s ‘America’, was met with, and so ‘Gliss Riffer’, his second LP for Domino, arrives with no shortage of scrutiny. It’s to Deacon’s credit, then, that he’s carried it off with such confidence, even if there’s a sense that not every idea quite comes off on this hugely experimental record. Stylistically, it veers away from ‘America’’s expansiveness and replaces it with plenty of polish and variety; twinkling opener ‘Feel the Lightning’ hints that he might be taking cues from Krautrock, whilst ‘Meme Generator’ chops up vocal samples and layers them incongruously over blissed-out synths, to quite glorious effect.

The political voice that Deacon demonstrated on ‘America’ is also eschewed, with ‘Gliss Riffer’ largely lacking coherent vocals. If there is a narrative, it seems to be communicated in terms of a creeping sense of things spiralling out of control; the album’s closing two tracks, ‘Take It to the Max’ and ‘Steely Blues’, are chaotic affairs. It’s by no means Deacon’s most accessible work, then, but long-time fans will likely be thrilled.


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