Sometimes trying to describe a Dan Deacon song is like trying to explain color to a blind person -- rather frustrating and most likely doted with grandiose metaphors. So let's just start with this: I'm fairly certain that after my first headphone session with America, the molecular structure of my brain completely realigned itself. Combining the ferocity of 2007's Spiderman of the Rings with the majesty of 2009's Bromst, this latest release from Deacon is an album that you can do nothing but completely succumb to. Don't try to wash the dishes to it -- don't try to throw it on at a bar -- just sit back and let this motherfucker consume you.
"Guilford Avenue Bridge" starts off the album with a digital saw quiver that feels like what a CAT Scan looks like. This is stereophonic magic at its historical finest, and may quite literally be the most physical music of all time. At times the beat moves so fast that it straddles the threshold between rhythm and tone, and attempting to comprehend what's happening is like being thrown into a vat of liquid logarithms. This all-consuming nature continues throughout the first half of the album, and I find it's best to take a massively deep breath before the start of each song. Any little increase in oxygen you can get will be of great benefit. A slight moment of tranquility does arise at the end of the aptly named "Pretty Boy" as several beautiful horn lines weave into one another. But its placement is only there to willfully un-prepare you for the oncoming "Crash Jam." Equal parts disorientating and awe-inspiring, this track is like 5 days of Burning Man crammed into 4 minutes and 31 seconds.
The second half of America is Deacon's magnum opus -- "USA," parts I though IV. "Part I: USA Is a Monster," begins with 2 minutes of epic, classical orchestration before it gets swallowed by the ever-looming Godzilla of sound. Suddenly you find yourself in the belly of a dragon-beast industrial complex, but there's somehow no sensation of fear or worry. As you then traverse into the vast psychedelic void of "Part 2: The Great American Desert," you begin to hear the echoes of long forgotten spirits breathing down the necks of stampeding horses. It should be noted that Deacon claims the lyrics of the entire album are "inspired by [his] frustration, fear and anger toward the country and world [he] live[s] in and [is] a part of," but I'll be damned if I can make out one word he ever says. Still somehow, once you're at the heart of it, you completely know what he's talking about anyway. When you've finally traversed your way to "Part 4: Manifest" you find yourself dropped down into a throbbing new digital core of planet Earth, only to be launched out in one last fire of explosive, Deaconated optimism. Once you realize you're still in one-piece, you want to do the whole thing over again. The word triumphant hardly does America justice.