Deerhoof

Deerhoof vs Evil (Polyvinyl)

Phases & Stages

Deerhoof

Deerhoof vs Evil (Polyvinyl)

In the absence of a Venn diagram, let's agree that Deerhoof has become a generational anomaly. The aesthetic intersections between 2007's pop-oriented Friend Opportunity, 2004's trout-mask-sniffing Milk Man, and the noise hopscotch of 2002's Reveille make for a frustrating listen. Deerhoof vs Evil, the San Francisco quartet's 10th disc and first for Polyvinyl, leads with a left hook ("Qui Dorm, Només Somia") into the warped right brain of "Behold a Marvel in the Darkness," so that familiar uneasiness creeps in. And yet, there are tactile moments ("The Merry Barracks," "Secret Mobilization") demonstrating that the group, after more than a decade, is trying to be a rock band – to evolve instead of confound. Satomi Matsuzaki hasn't collected much of a vocabulary beyond "love," "jump," and "snow magic," but her words are simply rhythmic placeholders within songs. Actual songs. Deerhoof's found a groove without compromising their special place in the animal kingdom. (Deerhoof trots into Mohawk Tuesday, Feb. 1.)

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