I'll try to expand this into a full review later when I have the time. As of right now, this is one of my personal favorites. I seriously doubt that many others would like it. Deerhoof is not abrasive, but rather a bit difficult to follow. Many would-be listeners would be turned off by Satomi's saccharine voice, or their lack of regard for conventional song structures. The lyrics are often somewhat nonsensical, and almost always minimalistic. Instead of stating the topic, they appear to blithely skirt it. However, a careful and reflective listener can understand the inner workings of Deerhoof, if only occasionally.
The Runners Four is a smorgesboard of sorts. It mixes various influences from jazz to punk to classic rock, often within the same songs, and without any regard to how well they enmesh. Listening to the album is like trying to have a discussion with a kid with ADD. It continuously switches between a multitude of seemingly disconnected ideas. This lack of cohesion is the life and death of the album, and of Deerhoof in general. Were I to choose, I would give the album at least a 4, but I doubt it's accessible enough to cater to most peoples' tastes. It has clever melodies, both vocal and instrumental, but they run amok amongst each other. I would recommend this album simply because it is different from most music. It has the potential to be very enjoyable, but requires a lot of patience and curiosity. This album is not for everyone.