Even if you don’t care for the direction Deerhunter has gone in the past few years, you still have to admire front man Bradford Cox. While the band’s jagged noise rock has been hewn into a more dilapidated garage rawk, Cox remains charmingly self-assured in what he’s doing. And he should. Not to mention he’s an unabashed fan of music who never sugarcoats his opinions. His confidence showed on 2010’s Halcyon Digest, which was flawless in every way—noisy, poppy, gorgeous and ramshackle. On Monomania Cox fully gives in to his pop proclivities on songs like “Pensacola” and “Dream Captain,” which are immediately catchy, capturing the glittery spirit of Marc Bolan. And “Leather Jacket II” explores the same blown-out chaos of bands like Thee Oh Sees and Sic Alps. Guitarist Lockett Pundt lends his vocals to the demure “The Missing,” which offers respite from Monomania’s frontloaded assault. Cox’s lyrics veer from brash whimsy (“Dream Captain”) to more autobiographical on “Punk (La Vie Antérieure),” which closes the album with a sinewy guitar line that recalls Deerhunter’s earlier work. It shows that Cox and Co. will always retain a certain amount of elegance—even if deep down all they want to do is grip and rip.