Review Summary: Lurching, thrilling and punky guitars. A small and innocent japanese girly voice. Wacky lyrics. And the attack of the electric piano. That's Deerhoof for you. Now just get this goddamn album already.Who in the friggin world are Deerhoof?
Deerhoof is an experimental rock band, formed in 1994 Rob Fisk and Greg Saunier, from San Francisco. At the time, both were members of the band Nitre Pit and would meet before practice to work on their own material, with Fisk playing bass and Saunier on drums. It was Fisk who came up with the name "Deerhoof". The two played at the Yo Yo A Go-Go festival in Olympia, where Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon discovered them. In 1996, Satomi Matsuzaki moved from Tokyo to San Francisco.
A member of the band Caroliner (whom Matsuzaki met while they toured Japan) played her the 7" and she decided to join Fisk and Saunier, who were looking for a vocalist at the time. Her first experience with the band was singing into a strange microphone Fisk had constructed out of paper mache and walkman headphones. Like most members in the history of Deerhoof, she had no formal music training (Saunier studied music and sang in barbershop quartets as a child and went to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music).A critical favorite, their music is noted for its unconventional song structures, lyrics and rhythms.
I first got my hands on Deerhoof with their release "Milk Man". I instantly felt in love with the wacky trio and their love for absolute unsuspecting and surprising sound arrangements and just their style in general. Now I finally purchased their newest album and I really loved it as well. Now let me get my thoughts together.
The opener The Perfect Me
is pretty wild. The song has galopping percussions and organs that could come straight off a wacky anime flick. It is completed by light and heartly vocals by their leadsinger Satomi who you easily fall in love with the second you hear her. She really adds a lot to the scenario of the songs and their music in general. Just imagine a tiny japanese women singing sincerly over some really dancable tunes. +81
,the first single of the album, has a chorus that absolute reeks of greatness. First you get some really catchy guitars in the background, some very cool trumpets and various electronic snippets. While all this occurs she sings:
Choo-choo-choo-choo beep beep/Choo-choo-choo-choo beep beep
It might sound very strange but it works excellent. I have to say the guitars really make the song as well. Especially the small solo after two minutes.
is a very funky track that has very smooth and silky vocals that features lots of different splitted parts/breakdowns. Especially the part towards the ending sounds like a comic to music conversion which I digged pretty heavily. It's also one of the songs that is more focused on the music than the vocals. The Galaxist
sounds like a ride through space, completed with dreamy guitars and excellent drum work in the background that varies a lot throughout the song. The Galaxist is a like a pop version of Spacemen 3, not as hard and psychadelic but a wonderful pop tune and just a carefree song to listen to, basicially very good to relax to.
is more of a basic song and very mellow, yet the middle part, which is just a killer, with the electronic sounds in the background and just hypnotizing vocals quickly put you into a frenzy that you are unware of and surprised at the end. An absolutely wonderful innocent song. I loved it. Whither the Invisible Birds?
is the definite filler of the album. I'm pretty baffled by it, it's just way too simple and pretty boring. It's also the track that I instantly skip most of the time when I hear it. Just a waste of time in my opinion.
Cast Off Crown
thankfully blasts the sleepy part away with energetic guitars and drums that were followed by absolute freaky and bouncing electronic snippers so the end result was a fantastic intro for Greg Saunier, the drummer of the band, who appears with his first vocal parts of the album. He puts on very dreamy and soft vocals that sounded fantastic and get followed up by lively guitars that rounded the end product up as an epic track. The song goes straight into the eight track of the album entitled Kidz Are So Small
. We finally witness their biggest influence and theme. Man's best friend. The dog. Yep. There I said it. The background sounds like a march of robots. The ending is just lunatic with all kinds of sounds and robotic/monotone vocals by Satomi that will just haunt you for the rest of the day. It's thus far the most experimental track as well.
Matchbook Seeks Maniac
is the best song on the album. It has a calm beginning and just a hypnotizing bridge by Satomi (I am not a boy i cannot hold the powers/hold the powers) only to explode in the main parts of the song where the refrain reminds me of a lot of Bowie's glamourish songs when she "screams" out:
I would sell me soul to devil
If i can be on top of the world
Be on top of the world
What left me kind of angry was that the album was basicially done after twenty-four minutes and we get the the twelve minute hangover called Look Away
. Sure it's a great instrumental track with scary sounding parts in it but I loved this album when the songs were on fire, which means when they just made some in your face wild, wacky and danceable songs. That's what worked great on this album.
All in all, I'd highly recommend this album. Friend Opportunity features some very dancy stuff to bang your heads along as well as tracks that put you into a frenzy with their mellow and fascinating sound. It has lots of experimental songs that still have a point and don't drift away. The whole scenario is just too good not to listen to. You get the craziest sounds completed with sweet japanese vocals. Just a fun album to listen to.
~ The Perfect Me
~ The Galaxist
~ Cast of Crown
~ Kidz Are So Small