Review Summary: Simply put, it's controlled chaos in its best form
Deerhoof is one of those bands that's very much hit or miss depending on who you are. Either you like their stuff or you don't. Their superbly dynamic and often weird sound is often what pushes and pulls people away, and this record, I feel, exacerbates that weirdness to an extent it hasn't been pushed to in a very long time.
Sure, the introduction to the album seems pretty normal, and in fact it stays that way for a short bit. The title track and "Sympathy For The Baby Boo" have a pretty normal sounding noise rock feel to them, jamming out with a more rough and almost barebones sound, almost like being back in the stone ages with current technology (which ain't far off from what the album's story is). "The Loved One" is a bit of an oddity with it's sound, but nothing too far off, but once we get to the 5th track on here, the weirdness kicks in faster than you can prepare for. Easily the most off the walls and all over the place track on the album, "New Orphan Asylum For Spirited Deerchildren" is supremely weird and would catch just about any casual listener off guard. The almost haunting and uncomfortable instrumental perfectly compliments the barbaric feel that the record has presented us thus far, and it doesn't halt after this either. "Zazeet" takes the rock of the first 4 tracks and smashes it together with the weirdness that came to a head in the track previous, and cranks it all to 11, with frantic guitar and vocals that hit you like a bus. "Fraction Anthem", however, is quite the opposite, with very soft vocals and calming instrumentals, it almost makes you wonder if you accidentally skipped to a different album. The rest of the album continues very well with the feel of frantic and barbaric sounds, leaving you wondering what the next song may sound like with no real good guess. Then, as soon as it came, it's over, with "I Call On Thee" ending this parade of chaos with the polar opposite, which is a Bach piece of the same name.
This album is a piece of controlled chaos put into a single work, and depending on whom you ask, that could be for the better, or for the worse. But I feel that this album perfected that idea, bringing so many different styles of noise that somehow feel connected yet completely different, and stringing them together to tell a loose yet fascinating story in such a way that leaves listeners to draw their own idea of exactly what is being told, while still having a general idea. This album, in my humble opinion, is one of the most unique pieces of noise rock to be released in the past few years. It's harsh, it's unpredictable, it's fantastic.