It's easy to remember how you felt at 16.
Yeah, you had two eyes like everyone else, but yours were Infallibility and Invincibility. No one could tell you what to do. A force to be reckoned with -- you were filled with the undeniable feeling that you could take on anything and win.
Having formed in 1994, Deerhoof is now that fateful age and by rites it's the band's turn to go out and challenge the world. The same way a rebellious adolescent turns tough and irrational, Greg Saunier, Ed Rodriguez, John Dieterich, and Satomi Matsuzaki just up and split from San Francisco, the only home they've ever known as a band, and left behind all notions of what a "Deerhoof record sounds like."
The result is Deerhoof vs. Evil. The musical equivalent of hormones raging out of control, it explodes out of the speakers with its gawky triumph and inflamed sentimentality. These are songs that practically demand that you dance and sing along (however elastic the rhythms, or abrupt the melodies).
To document their musical "coming-of-age" the band members could only trust themselves. Besides their cover of an obscure Greek film soundtrack instrumental ("Let's Dance the Jet"), and a song done for NY artist Adam Pendleton's documentary film installation BAND ("I Did Crimes for You"), these songs were completely self-recorded, mixed and mastered in practice spaces and basements with no engineers or outside input.
Ironically the result is polished, blissfully exuberant, and huge-sounding. Going DIY meant freedom to reinvent themselves, playing each others' instruments, altering those instruments so drastically as to be unrecognizable, and generally splashing their sonic colors into the most unexpected combinations.
1Qui Dorm, Només Somia (3:12)
2Behold a Marvel in the Darkness (3:29)
3The Merry Barracks (3:31)
4No One Asked to Dance (2:16)
5Let's Dance the Jet (1:36)
6Super Duper Rescue Heads ! (2:35)
7Must Fight Current (2:53)
8Secret Mobilization (3:03)
9Hey I Can (2:13)
11I Did Crimes for You (3:09)
12Almost Everyone, Almost Always (2:41)
The New York Times
Disarmingly unspoiled...This endearingly odd post-punk band has always made the most of incongruity, framing the girly-sweet singing of its bassist, Satomi Matsuzaki, against a crashing cacophony of guitar riffs and the slipperiest sort of rock drumming. Deerhoof vs. Evil, being released on Polyvinyl on Tuesday, adheres to this formula without succumbing to it.
It doesn't sound like they'll be running out of ideas anytime soon...Deerhoof can walk into any musical territory and make it their own. They may even claim some new fans along the way.
'The Merry Barracks' drones forward and hopscotches back, like the Beastie Boys remixing a lost psych-kraut fossil. So far, not your typical Deerhoof-spangled rainbow explosion. They've not grown up though - evenutally a massive electronic squelch takes over, and Deerhoof 'order' is restored.
A riot of riffs and psychedelic pop...good news for fans of crayon-scrawled psychedelic indie rock
Compelling…wall-to-wall hooks…the group's most consistently engaging album in years.
Drowned In Sound
Deerhoof are a band of bold moves, clear talent and admirable restlessness.
Deerhoof's classic, finally.
A near-perfect balance between oddball accessibility and brazenly challenging their listeners to accept new and jarring sounds
As restlessly inventive as ever, but never at the expense of of the songs' immediate hit…you'll keep returning to Deerhoof Vs. Evil for its winningly alien hooks, its pop moments…an absolute joy.
16 years into a career that has inspired brainiac bands from Radiohead to Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof could justifiably be described as art-pop elder statesmen...Theirs is a rare ability to combine ideas, emotional depth and melodic thrills.
Still the weirdest sounding rock foursome anywhere…With their bravura juxtaposition of 'WTF?' wordplay and preposterous sonic logic-leaps, Deerhoof are coming close to knocking the Flaming Lips off their exalted perch.
Musical schizophrenia at its sweetest…we want a bit of whatever Deerhoof are on.
Loud And Quiet
Teeters between the confident and the calamitous…Weird and regularly wonderful…Deerhoof have set a standard few can match.
Satomi Matsuzaki’s unaffected vocals are typical of Evil’s guileless charms, bursting with a joy in invention that isn’t for the resisting.
The most magical thing about Deerhoof's space satellite is the human heart it controls.
As beautifully bizarre as ever. (A-)
Bursting with a joy in invention that isn’t for the resisting
Every song's a winner, and every limb and molecule of each song is itself a winner...I can't think of a single band I'd rather summon in the battle vs. evil than Deerhoof
Sharp and edgy, brilliant and daft, intelligent and joyous!
The Merry Barracks (3:35)Akiko McQuerrey and Jason Drakeford
Super Duper Rescue Heads ! (2:42)Noriko Oishi
Secret Mobilization (3:20)Ewan MacLeod