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Deerhunter and Atlas Sound at The Ritz in Manchester review

George Dove headed to see Deerhunter play their new album 'Fading Frontier' to a sold out crowd.

Ben Smith

Date published: 10th Nov 2015

Image: Deerhunter

The stage a wash of aqua blue and dry ice. The crowd bustling and on walks Deerhunter front man Bradford Cox. He begins to play without introduction or his band.

This is his solo project Atlas Sound. With a similar style to Deerhunter, the synthesiser, dinky guitar riffs and Cox’s iconic falsetto vocals were, retrospectively, an ideal support for the headline set. 

Cox first spoke to the crowd before opening his second set of the night with current single 'Breaker'. Hard to fathom through his echoing mic, he dedicated the set to Manchester City, “the sports team”, predictably greeted with boos from the crowd before raising the stakes and saying that “Manchester United is for tourists”.

Surely the only way to win this crowd over would be with a passionate, flawless set. However, after an issue with feedback during Atlas Sound, Cox’s vocal pitch wavered throughout a set in which the rest of the band seemed lifeless and timid. Guitarist Lockett Pundt played the majority of the show with his back to the crowd.

Halfway through Cox took off his sunglasses and mumbled a joke about seeing “the light” and how death was coming for him. A statement he later corrected after their latest album’s lead single 'Living My Life' received the best response of the night. 

Having been in a serious car crash last year, Cox had said in interviews that he still felt “outside of society”. It seemed as though that feeling became contagious within the band.

Despite being known for their extensive use of feedback, it seemed they had simply turned everything up to eleven and the sun blushed and invigorating guitar melodies that make Fading Frontier a brilliant album were indistinguishable.

With the hazy lighting and the misjudgement in regards to feedback, the set was hard to get into for the most part. 

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