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Deerhoof - The Runners Four

  by Mark Rowland

published: 19 / 10 / 2005

Deerhoof - The Runners Four
Label: All Tomorrow's Parties
Format: CD


Excellent latest album from ever eclectic and unique art rockers Deerhoof, which proves to be slightly more accessible than their other recordings

Deerhoof are an odd little band, but they are brilliant with it. ‘The Runners Four’, though still quite unhinged, builds on their previous album, ‘Milkman’ and is seemingly slightly more accessible, as more seem to have picked up on them. It is difficult to know how to describe the sound of Deerhoof, as there are no obvious references you can pick up on. Maybe there’s a bit of Pavement in there, at times it’s a really skewed take on garage rock, but only for about a second or two, then it veers off in a completely different direction. At the heart of the weirdness, there is always, however, a brilliant, beautiful pop-song, the kind that makes you stop and listen. That’s what makes Deerhoof so special. Satomi Matsuzaki will never be considered the greatest singer in the world; it is often hard to hear what she is singing about, but she still carry the songs forward with her melodies. Another great thing about this record is that no two songs sound the same, but they all sound like Deerhoof. There’s a 60's psychedelic flavour to the guitar and melodies on some songs. Occasional bits of ambient electronica fizzle in and out of the record. Some bits sound like a-tonal art punk bands like Arab on Radar, but will be in the middle of a song that in general sounds like Quasi or some other melodic American indie-rock band. It really is freakishly, uniquely, ace with a capital A. As there is twenty tracks on ‘The Runners Four’ it’s difficult to pick out the best tracks, especially as the quality of these tracks are so high, but some highlights include opener ‘Chatterboxes’, ‘Running Thoughts’, ‘Scream Team’, ‘Odyssey’, I could go on. In fact, at this moment I think I could list every track, as I’m currently enjoying listening to it so much. It’s everything a music fan could want in an album; it’s noisy, it’s weird, it’s poppy, it rocks and it’s a bit arty, but not too much. I think I’ll be listening to this a lot for the next few weeks.

Track Listing:-
1 Chatterboxes
2 Twin Killers
3 Running Thoughts
4 Vivid Cheek Love Song
5 O'Malley, Former Underdog
6 Odyssey
7 Wrong Time Capsule
8 Spirit Ditties Of No Tone
9 Scream Team
10 You Can See
11 Midnight Bicycle Mystery
12 After Me The Deluge
13 Siriustar
14 Lemon and Little Lemon
15 Lightning Rod, Run
16 Bone-Dry
17 News From A Bird
18 Spy On You
19 You're Our Two
20 Rrrrrrright

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Deerhoof Vs Evil (2011)
Muted tenth album from the once excellent Deerhoof, which finds the San Francisco experimentalists moving further away from their classic downbeat art rock sound into punk pop.
Offend Maggie (2008)
Milk Man (2004)

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