Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Reviews: Deerhoof - 'Offend Maggie!'

Next Saturday, (10/18), Deerhoof plays the Crofoot in Pontiac.
Yesterday, they released their 10th album, Offend Maggie on Kill Rock Stars

Deep Cutz Review:

listen: "Offend Maggie"

Deerhoof gets under your skin – and sometimes people don't like that. They shroud the sweetest kite-flying melodies in recklessly shredded guitar tones and oblique structures that embrace speak-sing airy female vocals that could bounce along like the happy-go-lucky doily edges of a children's storybook, or instead merge with more deep-rooted viscera of animalistic howls or shouts– and this is all propelled by thunderous and tight jazz-spaz drumming and ominous bass looms – essentially, they've helped forge the framework for this new century's sculpt of experimental indie-rock: highly expressive beyond regard for accessibility yet undeniably stimulating in its refreshing transformation of melody and the hooky riff of the pop sensibility.

After 2005's The Runner's Four (an unusually epic album for the typically succinct, or spastic quartet), the band shifted their line-up and recorded essentially the closest thing to a straight-forward, palatable rock record, (for them) with 07's Friend Opportunity. The difference now is – there seems to be more comfort, more confidence – they're back to the acerbic, the sharp cutting guitars, the off-feeling tones, the sprinklings of endearment, the enchanting acoustics, the sweet-grooves that mutate into wild left turns – whereas FO just sounded weird, Offend Maggie! feels more settled into the eccentric-pop-n-mayhem-zenith they'd found with 02's Milkman. This healthy re-familiarization sets in immediately with the hard drawing guitar scrapes of "Tears of Music and Love" that flow into a nice surf-n-shimmy garage riff under up-n-down siren vocals with the guitars later adopting this melody as the drums pound on… "Buck and Judy" exemplify the delicate haunting their stripped down booming march rhythms set beside the eerie harmonization of vocals-and-guitars; while the first verse is stalked by a bit of noisy stabs and crashes, the chorus lingers capriciously into some beautifully toned guitars that float like an ellipses before the destructing bass plods back… the taut drums and pedal-strained guitars of "Basketball Get Your Groove Back" dance along with the cartoon-painting-imagery of the wayward vocals and at some points it seems like the rhythm is thrown off by the guitar zooms, or vice-versa…with cheerleader-esque pep-cheers to an aspiring ball-playing bunny to "Go Go, Be Be Champyong!"

We get the cryptic acoustic pop "Don't Get Barn," the somewhat trudging all-out guitar-rock "My Purple Past," the more unsettling fair of nocturnal harmony-heavy possessors like "Family of Others" and the nerve-wracking guitar-n-drum build of "Eaguru Guru," the synthy-skin-crawling room clearers "This is God Speaking" and softer, sunnier, here's some steady hook-n-pop-romanticism "Offend Maggie" and a punchy-meandering rocker that gives the group to flesh out a lot of intricate instrumentations from each corner, "Fresh Barn."

Looking back on it, I wouldn't say Deerhoof would be the band to "return" to a sound or style – their credit for continued strength as stalwart noise-pop architects lies in their naïve defiance as they continue to kartwheel into new mutations…

(words: milo)

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