Album Review

Deerhoof – “Runners Four, the ” – [5 Rue Christine]

Thurston Hunger   11/11/2005   A Library, CD

Hitomi sounds like your childhood imaginary friend. Why
can’t everyone see her over there, that 4 1/2 foot bunny,
and why isn’t that bunny gnawing on a grammy like a golden
24K carrot? Oh, I know that Deerhoof always packs enough
oddball into their ouvre to put the bastions of boredom on
red alert, but at the same time each album is laced with
breathtaking pop/rock/sound that should be covered by
armies of teenage garage bands. This album in particular!
(Although under torture I could see how some folks might
see this as the equivalent of Sonic Youth’s “Dirty” for
the hoven ones…but I still think “Dirty” is damn good!)
Greg is still playing his minimal kit like a pack of pop
rocks (check out “Running Thoughts” it’s like a candy
version of Close to the Edge. This band is so sneaky good
in addition to that tasty outer crunchy layer. Both John
and Chris can go from super hero high-wiring to rock-solid
soldered rhythm guitar and brazen blues swagger, check
the choruses of “Wrong Time Capsule.” To me one big key
is the mingling of the Hitomi’s cheeriness with the
acidic dissonant tones the band can muster. But then how
can one explain “Odyssey” and its David-Grubbs-in-a-bottle
tossed in the sea sort floatation or “Bone Dry” and its
fairytale charm or the Horton-hears-the-Who altar boy
innocence of “You Can See” all vocally 99% Hitomi-free?’
And yet still tremendous. Deerhoof have cranked their
concupiscence up to pure irresistability.

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