Deerhoof: Deerhoof vs. Evil

Deerhoof: Deerhoof vs. Evil

On most albums, it’s easy enough to skip to the good parts, but Deerhoof’s catalog has never been that user-friendly. Apple O’s best moment might be the pulverizing intro to “My Diamond Star Car,” and Reveille’s “Punch Buggy Valves” would be Red Bull in audio form if not for the song’s sagging middle. And while the Bay Area band’s self-produced 11th album, Deerhoof Vs. Evil, doesn’t reach the decibel levels of those early efforts, it retains the disjointed, doggedly experimental streak that has defined the group as much as its noise-pop chops. What makes Evil so compelling, though, is that when the band does one of its signature about-faces—as on “Behold A Marvel In The Darkness,” where Pizzicato Five charm mutates into a monstrous Destroyer guitar riff and then into a rubbery cartoon-factory beat—there’s no filler, just wall-to-wall hooks. The same goes for the glittering Christmas-light synths of “Super Duper Rescue Heads,” the Yeasayer interludes on “Hey I Can,” and the touches of Dirty Projectors braininess on the Catalan-sung “Qui Dorm, Només Somia.” Deerhoof has always been an ADD-addled band, unable to focus on any one idea for more than 20 seconds. On this, the group’s most consistently engaging album in years, pretty much every one of those ideas works.

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