Deerhoof - Deerhoof Vs. Evil (ATP)

Deerhoof rarely cease to amaze; on their 11th album since their birth in 1994 and now showing signs of saving us from evil. Rife with new flavours, this offering in question somewhat leaves behind the more trashier facets of previous albums allowing room for new ways to convey their passion and angst.

Released Jan 31st, 2011 via ATP / By Al Judkins
Deerhoof - Deerhoof Vs. Evil (ATP) The archetypal specimens would be the opening two, the first of which being 'Qui Dorm, Nomes Somia'. Sung in Catalan, it toys with similar ideas to those of Battles, with a parade of confused melodies over bop-worthy beats, but still able to carry Satomi Matsuzaki's hushed vocal style like burly guards carrying a featherweight queen in a hand-held carriage. The second, 'Beyond A Marvel In The Darkness' is laced with wiry guitar splendour that we remember so well, crossing over with intricate synthability only to proudly cross back again bars later with equal comfortability.

Initially there's the risk that some hardcore followers of the 'Hoof may swivel at the single-worthy number, 'Super Duper Rescue Heads'. Going by a colourful yet formulaic alt-pop generalisation, it's actually mildly amusing to the reviewer how it's done as if made for widespread interest before the two minute mark welcoming the spasms, bleeps and glitches into the mix. Admittedly, 60% of the album is a lot easier to listen to than most of Deerhoof's earlier work. There have been some crazy little excerpts in past tenures that take time to unravel, grasp and love. The notably dark 'CMoon' describes this well mind, with its moderately irrelevant key and downbeat plod-like rhythm suggesting it requires numerous determined listens to be fully in the wrath of such strange beauty.

Deerhoof Vs. Evil, the acupuncture of all albums, has genres poking in from many angles such as latin, krautrock, J-pop (NOT K-pop) and early math. Although, the ender 'Almost Everyone Always' sports a vein of The Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin sound seeing us off with a retiring fizzler - much needed to some listeners after nuff sonic confusion and multi-stylistic decadence.

After 16 years of existence any band would consider spreading their wings (or indeed antlers in this case) to target even if at the slight risk of die-hard fans producing reactions like "meh". Sure, this is more a case of reaching out with wide open arms but by no means does it reak of commerce and it still is very much a Deerhoof album to have and hold. Their quintessential elements are still there however chiefly in a new sheen, and they are arguably still at the extent where they could play DIY gigs in warehouses or Polish community centres if they damn well wanted to, even if they're ready to take on the world at large.