With 2007's Spiderman of the Rings, Baltimore oddball Dan Deacon went from underground noise nerd to Pitchfork darling. Two years later, he returns with Bromst, an album that'll likely earn him just as much attention. It's hard to grasp why Deacon's music is so appealing. It's noisy and chaotic, and sometimes teeters into annoying. Still, there's something very endearing about the messy soundscapes he weaves. Bromst shows signs of progress while still sharing similarities with Deacon's previous record. Instead of relying solely on electronics this time around, he experiments with live instrumentation.
"Of the Mountains" balances the old and new: Deacon's trademark build-ups and intricate layering are still here, but instead of glitchy bleeps, he opts for vibraphone and drums. The result is the same, but the palette he draws from is more organic. Deacon gets epic on the eight-minute "Surprise Stefani," which starts with a slow crescendo of feedback before evolving into a wacky electro-pop jam. "Woof Woof" is all over the map, with distorted guitars, random sounds and warbled vocals; it sorta sounds like carnival music. Bromst is another brilliant effort by an artist who often straddles the line between genius and insanity. — Eddie Fleisher