eerhoof, in their current incarnation, sound like a band that wouldnt work. You have the whole post-rock thing going on with the polyrhythmic drums and guitars that only a mother could love, but at the same time, there is a distinct other side to Deerhoof. Theres Satomi Matsuzaki.
Take the track Panda, Panda, Panda from the new Apple O for example. The song begins with a couple of guitars giving us an awkward rising melody. The drums come in and bam, its 1996 again. The inbred Chicago post rock scene has returned with this. The result, a smarter-than-thou sludge pounds around for a little while. The music stops. Singer Matsuzaki intones calmly with the sweetest melody possible Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda Pan. Everybody who I have played it for has laughed. You will too.
It is in a universe of such stark contrasts that Deerhoof exists. The entire loud/soft cliché is given a run for its money with Deerhoofs loud/soft, harsh/gentle, dragon/fairy aesthetic. Their instrumental palette supports this, with chimes and horns and keyboards of all sorts coming into play to create wildly different sounds from one song to the next.
As much as they differentiate their formula between their songs, it works similarly with their albums. While Reveille was an incongruent suite with sixteen songs ranging in length from eight seconds to eight minutes, Apple O is a surprisingly cohesive album with songs from one to about four minutes in length. While Reveille contained collages of noise that seemingly never connected, Apple O provides much pleasure in its fusion of brash noise and sweet melody.
Deerhoof seem to have a great formula going for them: they are competent instrumentalists, inventive arrangers and perhaps most important of all, have a great sense of humor.
Current members: Greg Saunier Drums, Keyboards; Satomi Matsuzaki Vocals, Bass; Chris Cohen Guitar; and John Dieterich Guitar
Location: San Francisco, CA
Style: Explosive experimental rock with lots of pop
Labels Appeared On: Kill Rock Stars, 5RC
Essential: Apple O (2003)
By: Tyler Martin
Published on: 2003-09-01