Anyone who witnessed Bradford Cox’s recent bizarre performance as alter-ego Connie Lungpin on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon won’t be surprised to discover that Atlanta quintet Deerhunter are as idiosyncratic as ever on their sixth studio album, Monomania.

Self-described as “a mystery disc of nocturnal garage,” their third collaboration with producer Nicolas Vernhes features everything from jagged psychedelia (“Neon Junkyard”) [LISTEN] to wistful travelling blues (“Pensacola”), while the lo-fi Southern rock of “Dream Captain” even borrows from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to hammer home the dream of escaping to a better life:

Dream captain take me on your ship
I’ve been feeling like I’m gonna be sick
I’ve been landlocked for too many weeks
I’ve been feeling like I’m leaving
I’m a poor boy from a poor family

There’s nobody left to take care of me

The group may have experienced a reshuffle since 2010’s Halcyon Digest (bassist Josh McKay replaced Joshua Fauver while guitarist Frankie Broyles was recruited from Lockett Pundt’s side-project Lotus Plaza), but it’s Cox’s tortured confessional tales which inevitably still remain the focal point.

Indeed, named after his obsessive traits, Monomania seems pre-occupied with the quest to discover his true identity. The jangly dream-pop of “Sleepwalking” [LISTEN] might appear to boast a sunny disposition on the surface, but is in fact a helpless plead for respite from a decade-long search “for something that time will never bring.” Meanwhile, the primitive sleaze-rock of closer “Punk (La Vie Anterieure)” admits to the ADD nature of his personality with a series of bold statements about his various fads:

For a year I was queer

I had conquered all my fears

Not alone anymore

But I found it such a bore

For a month I was punk

For a month I had no luck

Throw into the mix a deceptively bleak tale of a younger brother’s suicide (“T.H.M.”) and a desperate account of a love gone sour (“Back To The Middle”) [LISTEN] and Cox doesn’t appear to have relented in his mission to “sodomize mediocrity.”

However, musically speaking, only the sinister experimental rock of “Leather Jacket II” and the discordant blend of revving motorbikes and white noise that concludes the title track really reflect the predominant sense of anguish. In fact, the gorgeously dreamy indie-pop of the Pundt-fronted “The Missing” and the creeping Americana of “Blue Agent,” the latter a biting riposte to a fairweather friend, might just be two of the most hook-laden tracks the band have put their name to:

If you need a friend now
Better look some place else
You burned this bridge long ago
Here’s to your health
I’m a blue light, I’m a crippled coward
Shining out in the night
The sky is clearer now that I’m filled with fright

Cox may be second only to Morrissey when it comes to making deliberately antagonizing grand statements, but Monomania proves that once again, there’s more to his avant-garde talents than a penchant for shooting his mouth off.