Atlanta five-piece Deerhunter did the unthinkable Monday night at the Paradise: It came out early. Not only that, frontman Bradford Cox immediately asked for less of his own guitar in his monitor. That's two violations of rock 'n' roll decorum right off the bat, but the band never forgot the primary purpose: to make a heck of a lot of noise.
It might have been all but unbearable if Deerhunter didn't couch its unearthly racket in sharply crafted songs, more than half of which came from its new album, "Microcastle." Cox, who had the geek appeal of a Napoleon Dynamite, socialized just enough to be a mesmerizing indie rock frontman, occasionally retreated to the back of the stage to twist the many dials on a box that spat out stuttering, humming electronic bursts. Most songs found him providing wordless vocals that sounded like they were being carried on the wind from miles away.
The intro to "Cryptograms" slowly faded in with a swirl of near-psychedelic sound, the overtones of all the instruments and loops generating their own rhythms. But it coalesced into a Stereolab groove that pulsed with momentum, and by the time Whitney Petty was beating the strings of her guitar with a tambourine, it had reached a glorious pitch.
It was much the same with "Spring Hall Convert," which seemed to pick up heft at the start of every measure. "Nothing Ever Happened" settled into a driving rhythm as Cox fired off climbing solo runs like some combination of Tom Verlaine and the Soft Boys' Kimberley Rew before repeatedly tapping out a simple, chiming pattern on his guitar with both hands. Like Sonic Youth and avowed heroes My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter found the music in noise.
Vivian Girls opened the night - once missing guitarist and singer Cassie Ramone was phoned and located - by tearing through material that was brief, noisy, and short on polish. The songs were hardcore fast but shoegazer diffuse - "Tell The World" and "Second Date" were slower, but that was purely relative - and they would have been perilously close to being an undifferentiated buzz if not for Frankie Rose's precise but powerful drums.
Times New Viking also included sheets of noise in its set, but the hooks came through clearly, making it much more focused than the band's everything-in-the-red recordings. The trio was like a meeting of the minds between Mates of State and the Thermals, playful but jagged even as guitarist Jared Phillips prowled around his small corner of the stage with a hint of menace in his eyes.