Wednesday, October 12, 2005

THE BEST ROCK BAND IN THE WORLD?

I'm usually not one for making definitive 'best of" statements, but my current choice for the above title would be San Francisco's art-jazz-pop-noise combo Deerhoof. Their brand new CD, The Runners Four, is their magnum opus, joining their experimental tendencies with pop songcraft in a way they haven't done before. Sure, you can play "spot the the influence" with their sound--Sonic Youth's guitar noise, the Who's mini rock operas, Beefheart's stuttering beats, the sugary sounds of J-pop are all commonly cited touchstones. What they do that others don't is to synthesize these influences into a sound that's both exploratory and emotional, never sliding into cold experimentalism for its own sake. They've leavened their ambitious music with a welcome sense of humor and lack of pretention. Plus as I can testify from personal experience, they're just too damn much fun to watch live. Everyone from Pitchfork to Kerrang! to the New York Times is singing their praises, and for once its not just hype.

As they describe themselves:
TOO RAGGED
TOO UNPREDICTABLE
TOO POP
TOO CRAZY
TOO POLARIZING
TOO HAPPY
TOO BOMBASTIC
TOO RISKY
TOO JAPANESE
TOO HIGH SCHOOL
TOO NEW
TOO ANGRY
TOO DREAMY
TOO UNCONTROLLED
TOO ROCK
TOO VOLATILE
TOO MELODIC
TOO ART
TOO OUTRE
TOO INTENSE
TOO UNCATEGORIZABLE
TOO ADDICTIVE
TOO DEERHOOF!
Here's a few more links if I've whetted your appetite:

An MP3 cut from The Runners Four, Wrong Time Capsule. If you don't like this one, you probably won't like the band. There's no hope for you.

Guitar god Nels Cline's liner notes for their record Apple O.

A treasure trove of (older) MP3s from the band.

A few more recent MP3s.

4 Comments:

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