Almost fifteen years and eleven studio albums into its career, Deerhoof is quirkier and more fun than ever. With a new philosophy that no song should finish sounding anywhere remotely close to what it sounded like when it started, the band presents Deerhoof Vs. Evil (Polyvinyl), a flowing collection of musical ADD. What may originally come off as chaotic quickly reveals itself to be a carefully choreographed work that is way too interesting to listen to passively.
On Deerhoof vs. Evil, the band easily navigates from soothing sythn-pop melodies to driving punk rhythms. A perfect example of this is “Secret Mobilization,” on which the band starts out sounding like a smooth, almost sultry lounge act. But once you’re lured in and made comfortable, a thirty-second blast of distorted guitars will knock you on your ass. The song is then followed by the percussion and marimba beat of “Hey I Can,” a track that could easily fit into the next Mario Party release. In a good way.
Another highlight is “The Merry Barracks,” a single that was released last October. The song’s sweet melodies dance around unorthodox time signatures and polyrhythms while the uber-distorted guitars occasionally delve into a quick thrash beat or smooth, shimmering pop harmony. Then there’s “Let’s Dance The Jet,” which sounds like the motif for the world’s coolest espionage movie.
One reason why the band is able to get away with all of this quirky behavior is because even during the most serious sounding moments, Satomi Matsuzaki’s playful, quirky voice gives the impression that really, Deerhoof is just joking around, possibly laughing at anyone that is trying to seriously analyze what has been created; Matsuzaki and the crew seem to have reached the perfect medium between maturity and immaturity. Deerhoof Vs. Evil is a stylishly composed work done from four gifted musicians who are more than happy to be sarcastically snarling at you the whole time.