Sunday, October 19, 2008

What's the Deal With Deerhoof?

My first listening experience of Deerhoof was a weird fucking song called "Kidz Are So Small." This pixie voice steeped in a Japanese accent over a strange musical arrangement. It sounded like novelty to me, yet this is an art rock band that apparently gets all the indie gurus over at Pitchfork a half stacker. I decided to check out the bands latest effort out, Offend Maggie to see what the heck this strange band is about. From what I gather, Offend Maggie seems to be more accessible than some of their other outings and for that it's a delightful listen at times. The music the band writes is very structured and erratic. The pixie like vocals are a cool juxtoposition of what the music is doing sonically, but does it work on repeat listens? Is it something you are going to go out of your way to pop on the stereo? I'm stillt trying to figure that out myself.

Regardless, Offend Maggie has some really breezy songs. The first track, "Chandelier Searchlight" is a delightful bright song filled with melodies that are sweet nectar to the ears. "Buck and Judy" is a little more overbearing musically, but overbearing in an interesting way. The rhythm section is abrasive and loud while the vocals and piano lines sound more like something out of a musical. The titular track sounds like a 90s alt rocker filled with a fancy repeating acoustic guitar arpeggio. Deerhoof turns up the strange on "Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back." There is something charming about the song but it's fucking weird. There isn't anything wrong with being weird, but to me it's a little bit too out there in the ether.

My final thoughts on Deerhoof is that they are a band that takes a little too much to want to go out of your way to listen to them. This kind of art rock has it's time and place. However, I really do enjoy it when I want to sit down and listen to it. Offend Maggie has many stellar moments of great music. It's just not that kind of album that you are going to go out of your way to listen to it all the time. I've listened to the album a handful of times and I can see myself going back to listen to it again, but right now I want music that's fun or just plain rocks. Deerhoof will have to wait for a day I want to fully appreciate an artistic music group rather than, say, the new Electric Six.

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