Deerhoof
The Magic
Jun 24, 2016

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After all the accolades from press and peers, what’s a legendary band to do? Forget the recording studio, rent out an abandoned office space in the middle of the New Mexico desert, set up, plug in and play REALLY LOUD. Starting with hardly a notion of the outcome, by seven days later Deerhoof had found (you guessed it) The Magic: a raw and refreshing 15-song wallop of an album about what happens when you leave your comfort zone.

The version of Deerhoof you hear on The Magic is a most punch-drunk proposition. Everyone showed up in the mood to sing. Satomi, Greg, John and Ed dream up alchemies of punk, pop, glam, hair metal, doo-wop, hip hop, and R&B, late-night car rides, long days, attitude and spandex. Poetry into noise. Volume knob into gratification. Friendship into rock band.

According to drummer Greg, the music on The Magic was lurking in the shadows of "what we liked when we were kids - when music was magic - before you knew about the industry and before there were rules. Sometimes hair metal is the right choice."

For singer/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki The Magic is but the latest episode of an ongoing gamble: "I joined Deerhoof a week after I arrived in San Francisco from Japan. I hopped on a MUNI bus to have a first meeting but got off at a wrong stop. I was lost and confused. They found me on a dark street corner after I called for help from a pay phone. Since then my adventure expanded. Deerhoof is a vehicle with four powered wheels that takes me through forest, desert and buildings. My life is adventure!"

The Magic is a mixtape imbued with Deerhoof's sorcery -- boldness, wonder, technical know-how, risk. It is a mixtape by the kid with the biggest music collection you've ever seen, who will take you camping and show you how to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Songs

  • 1
    The Devil and his Anarchic Surrealist Retinue (3:15)
  • 2
    Kafe Mania! (2:43)
  • 3
    That Ain’t No Life To Me (1:53)
  • 4
    Life is Suffering (3:36)
  • 5
    Criminals of the Dream (5:01)
  • 6
    Model Behavior (2:35)
  • 7
    Learning to Apologize Effectively (3:16)
  • 8
    Dispossessor (2:10)
  • 9
    I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire (1:37)
  • 10
    Acceptance Speech (3:01)
  • 11
    Patrasche Come Back (0:47)
  • 12
    Debut (2:54)
  • 13
    Plastic Thrills (2:02)
  • 14
    Little Hollywood (2:57)
  • 15
    Nurse Me (2:42)

Reviews

"The long-running San Francisco avant-garage band offers up another slice of their unique sound, which can veer from slashing post-punk to glistening melodic sheen. Give us two copies, please."

USA Today

"The avant-pop stalwarts return with one of their loosest and most rock-heavy records yet..."

Pitchfork

"The Magic captures a love for pop melody that provides a perfect antidote to the dissonance, with songs that are as catchy as they are noisy...As much as Deerhoof seeks new territory, the band rarely loses its own thread...It's what makes The Magic's most unanticipated moments all the more daring and exhilarating."

NPR

"Deerhoof makes music recklessly and wildly, but with great skill and a premium on sweetness. The approach brings a measure of exhilaration that great live acts rarely harness on disc. Deerhoof seems to live in perpetual wonder of this gift."

AV Club

"In recent years the glam sound has been revitalized by a handful of garage punk bands known to shred (Ty Segall, Ex Hex, King Tuff) but the sound has never been better than in Deerhoof's all too capable hands."

Post-Trash

“Otherworldly and full of enchantment, Deerhoof's 13th studio album, The Magic, finds the wholly original and ever-engaging band at their most cohesive and versatile — which is saying a lot, given their dynamic history.”

Exclaim!

"The frantic, fearsome noise-pop quartet blends buzzy aggression and featherlight pop with such cheeky abandon that sometimes their songs feel like capers they’ve barely pulled off...they’ll carefully construct intricate, glittery melodies only to plow through them with chainsaws and existential crises minutes later...Matsuzaki’s voice goes off like a sparkler in the rain, and the song is the epitome of catharsis, like popping a balloon at the birthday party of someone you hate...The magic, really, is holding the joy and suffering in the same hand, gleefully singing along to a song about pain. Life is suffering, man–let’s sing about it anyway."

Brooklyn Magazine

"‘The Magic’ is crammed full of excitable, spur of the moment rock ’n roll."

DIY

"[Deerhoof] return to the kaleidoscopic sounds of their imperial mid-2000s run, creating their most satisfying work since 2005’s The Runners Four. [8/10]"

UNCUT

“…its sonic ‘redness’ and distortion ultimately acting as intensifiers of their meticulous chops.”

Pop Matters

"The Magic is classic Deerhoof – bold, audacious, weird. The whole thing is – as ever with this band – a seemingly light confectionery...the super-friendly hit record of the summer...this is our Led Zeppelin. Deerhoof will always be to my mind an iron fist in a velvet glove – something from which, a lot of bands which label themselves as Indie, could learn."

Echoes and Dust

"The band is irreverent and avant-garde, surely, but it’s always been in a way that reflected critically on their surroundings while remaining deeply affectionate to their forebears...These songs all demonstrate a musical identity that’s not swayed by the wide swath of influences it consumes, but rather defined in relief...The magic is how Deerhoof goes further in and only branches farther out."

Tiny Mix Tapes

"After nearly 20 years, their sonic spell shows no sign of fading."

Q Magazine
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Videos

  • The Devil and his Anarchic Surrealist Retinue (3:28)
    Joe Baughman
  • Criminals of the Dream (5:11)
    Trevor Shimizu & Josh Brand
  • Dispossessor (2:33)
    Gary McQuiggin

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