Deerhoof’s still kickin’ after 16 years

Deerhoof, one of the biggest and quirkiest bands in the indie rock scene, released its 11th album, “Deerhoof vs. Evil,” on Jan. 25.

After 16 years of making music, Deerhoof shows no signs of slowing and its latest album is just as original and fun as past albums have been.

As with most of their albums, Deerhoof brilliantly blends pop and traditional indie rock with light doses of experimentalism and hard rock, true to their own art rock style. Topped with the distinctly cute, childish and sometimes eerie vocals of Japanese-born front woman and bassist) Satomi Matsuzaki, the mix blends into a genuinely unique experience.

The album is a bit jarring at first, opening with Matsuzaki singing in Catalan on the song “Qui Dorm, Només Somia,” which features a cluttered opening followed by a steady beat and melody that grows and twists as the song progresses.

“Qui Dorm, Només Somia” is followed by the constrasting “Behold a Marvel in the Darkness,” which is more poppy and fun with a simple, enticing chord progression on an acoustic guitar at the start. Along with a pretty chorus from Matsuzaki of “what is this thing called love?” answered by a hard rock instrumental response presented in call- and-response fashion, the song comes off as cutesy and fun with a bit of punch.

The album alternates between a experimental song and one that’s sweet and more melodious for almost every track, sometimes in the middle of one. The album never settles down with one feel but instead darts around seemingly at random.

Whether there is an actual method to the madness, the one clear fact is that the band seems to have a lot of fun.
Some standout tracks with a pretty fun feel are “No One Asked to Dance” (recently featured on NPR’s “Song of the Day”) and “I Did Crimes For You.”

Those interested in the more intriguing, experimental songs should check out “The Merry Barracks” (available for free at www.polyvinylrecords.com) and “Must Fight Current.”

“Deerhoof vs. Evil” isn’t an amazing new piece of art, but it’s certainly a fun and welcome addition to Deerhoof’s solid discography. The album indicates that the band will continue to satisfy in the foreseeable future.

Deerhoof is set to play on Feb. 26 in Portland at Holocene at 6 p.m. Visit www.holocene.org/calendar for more information.

Tune in to KSLC 90.3 FM to hear tracks from “Deerhoof vs. Evil.”


Braden Smith/KSLC 90.3 FM
Braden Smith can be reached at kslcmusic@gmail.com.

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