Thing of the Day
DEERHOOF TAKE ON EVIL
December 17th 2010
...and release a free download as a taster
new Deerhoof album, DEERHOOF Vs. EVIL will be out in the UK on January
24th 2011 on ATP Recordings. And today, with no messing about from us
here at Organ, here's what ATP and Deerhoof have to say on the matter….
”Remember what it was like to turn 16? No one could tell you what to do. You were a force to be reckoned with - filled with the undeniable feeling that you could take on anything and win.
Having formed in 1994, Deerhoof is now that fateful age and by rites it's the band's turn to go out and challenge the world. The same way a rebellious adolescent turns tough and irrational, Greg Saunier, Ed Rodriguez, John Dieterich, and Satomi Matsuzaki just up and split from San Francisco, the only home they've ever known as a band, and left behind all notions of what a "Deerhoof record sounds like."
result is Deerhoof vs. Evil. The musical equivalent of hormones raging
out of control, it explodes out of the speakers with its gawky triumph
and inflamed sentimentality. These are songs that practically demand
that you dance and sing along (however elastic the rhythms, or abrupt
the melodies). Right from "Qui Dorm, Nomes Somia" (sung in Catalan),
it's evident that Deerhoof aren't afraid to take chances (critics be
To document their musical "coming-of-age" the band members could only trust themselves. Besides their cover of an obscure Greek film soundtrack instrumental ("Let's Dance the Jet"), and a song done for NY artist Adam Pendleton's documentary film installation BAND ("I Did Crimes for You"), these songs were completely self-recorded, mixed and mastered in practice spaces and basements with no engineers or outside input.
Ironically, the result is
polished, blissfully exuberant, and huge-sounding. Going DIY meant
freedom to reinvent themselves, playing each others' instruments,
altering those instruments so drastically as to be unrecognisable,
(those aren't Joanna Newsom or Konono No. 1 samples, those are John and
Ed's guitars), and generally splashing their sonic colours into the
most unexpected combinations.
Those cars with super loud subwoofers.
They frightened me at night.
The sounds present nightmares, fears and darkness.
Still I am attracted to them.
I play bass to overcome my own fears for loooooowwww heavy frequencies.
It's interesting how all the parts are woven in this song. I love Greg's drumming on this one. A bit behind the beat, silences, feel the air, rhythm is leaded by guitars. Imagine going under terrible storm. Thunders, rain, can't see an inch ahead. Then what can we do? Fear goes away. Calmly I am gonna just sing to pray...
- Satomi on "The Merry Barracks"
Deerhoof vs. Evil will be released in the UK on January 24, 2011 by ATP Recordings, Polyvinyl Record Co (USA & Canada) and on cassette from Joyful Noise on January 25, 2011, P-Vine (Japan) on January 6, 2011, and Polyvinyl Record Co. (Europe).
In the UK Deerhoof Vs Evil will be available on CD, limited edition pink vinyl (with MP3 download) and digital download. Pre-order packages in the UK for Deerhoof vs. Evil will be announced very soon via www.atprecordings.com, It's going to be a Sweet 16!”
Download the first single, "The Merry Barracks" : for free from here
The full track listing is…
1. Qui Dorm, Només Somia
2. Behold a Marvel in the Darkness
3. The Merry Barracks
4. No One Asked to Dance
5. Let’s Dance the Jet
6. Super Duper Rescue Heads !
7. Must Fight Current
8. Secret Mobilization
9. Hey I Can
11. I Did Crimes for You
12. Almost Everyone, Almost Always
There you have it, all the Deerhoof blurb from ATP
And here’s some old bits of Deerhoof flavoured Organ reviews for you:
DEERHOOF - Offend Maggie (ATP/R) - Can I gush? Can I blather? Or put it another way, can I just get this silly writing stuff over with so that I can get back to listening to this with a soppy grin on my face? Thank you Deerhoof, for giving us a medicine to keep us all alive through a messy winter. Now, this is not the shiny polished Deerhoof of 'The Runners Four', nor the no-nonsense raw reaction of 'Friend Opportunity' - its somewhere in between and something else besides.
First of all, it's bewildering to think that many of us had our first
taste of this band seemingly decades ago on pretty much every John Peel show...
and that this new, brand new album sounds as fresh, if not fresher than
those first recordings. Don't these people know the rules?
You're supposed to be running out of ideas and getting all jaded by
now. But Deerhoof have the artistic energy of four-year-olds after a good
night's sleep and a bag of sweets; and whilst holding on to that precious
force, they've been soaking up lifetimes of listening. Inside this
marvelously relaxed and natural sounding album there are glimpses of Gentle Giant,
Yes and Beach Boys... and rare groove funk, and a cheeky minor-key
Stones riff to mess with your ears as an opener. Hah, and that's an
Earlygenesis thing going on under the surface of the title track, hmm? But
of course, it's absolutely Deerhoof first - guitars balanced between noise
and coherence, Satomi's voice seemingly naive on but delicately note
perfect in reality, subtly down in the mix and not too sweet, and at one with
the ideas and emotions of the others in the band. There's a bit
of darkness in there - they're human beings, they get battered like the rest of
us. But they know what's important.
Deerhoof have always been about being in their own world, about making music to delight themselves and inviting a listener to join in that delight. But 'Offend Maggie' takes this naturalness, this unforced pleasure to realms that makes pretty much every other band on the planet sound like straining frauds. OK, for all I know, the creative process is torture for them and they're very good at putting on a brave face to the world... but I kind of doubt it. I think Deerhoof found the rock band equivalent of the philosopher's stone early in their career. Want to know the secret? You can have it for free: ask yourself why you're in a band. If the answer's anything, anything other that 'because I like music' then pack it in. The little team of Deerhoof worked out the truth, and kept going and growing. Their music has purpose, it has a right to be on this planet. For all its hidden precision, its carefully crafted foundations, it's a living extension of the people who made it, as personal as a limb or a smile, and as infinitely detailed. They don't have to explain what they do, they just have to hang on to the joy, and keep creating. I guess they do that.
'Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back'. Genius. Pure genius, pure Deerhoof. It sounds exactly like a basketball game. Madrigal progressions in 'Don't Get Born' played as if by your friends, in your living room. Totally easy going grooves on (strangely Stereolab-ish) chords on 'Chandelier Searchlight. There's layers and keyboards and little twists and turns in the songs, but they're laid down without much studio messing around - emotions and immediacy first. So don't go looking for the spectacular and shiny, if this album is your first listen: be charmed. Deerhoof, as always, are just a joy, just a pleasure.
(Organ#279, Oct 3rd 2008)
DEERHOOF @ Koko, Camden, London. – Koko is rammed, people hanging off the rafters and the baroque decoration all the way up to the ceiling, rammed in like pigeons in a dovecote... this may not be the best way to enjoy Deerhoof. They're a complex, subtle and often very loud and distorted thing, a contradiction of sheer welly and delightful fragile sweetness that is surely going to suffer at the hands of a club PA. Well, yes, and when the three-piece that is this live incarnation of Deerhoof suddenly materialise on stage it's all kick drum and bass at teeth-rattling volume, especially unbearable in places downstairs in the pit. I retreat to the better sound on one of the many balconies, where it's just possible to see bits of the three of them (bassist Chris Cohen recently left to stay full-time in the Curtains).
A quick and dirty way to describe Deerhoof is that they may well be the world's most approachable, friendliest avant-rock band. They're also one of the most imaginative. Their current album Friend Opportunity takes a shift towards directness and bigger, bolder shapes then the utterly classic The Runners Four, and the newer songs are appropriately heavier live. They begin loud, full-on, concentrating deep in their own world. The crowd is static, transfixed, die-hards getting excited here and there. I guess there's a lot of first-timers here tonight, and people taking the new stuff in. For all the bigger shapes and rocking out, there's a tasty amount of tight complexity and dollops of brilliant melody, begging for more listens. Boy, they can play - drummer Greg Saunier is mesmerising, guitarist John Dieterich right up there with him but Satomi Matsuzaki is nonchalantly handling keyboards and bass in some terrifyingly complex compositions whilst delivering the distinctive vocals that are a vital part of Deerhoof. Her voice is childlike and high but softened by her accent, delivered with an easy, endearing innocence. Tonight, though, we have to wait for a direct connection with the (very varied) audience - it's a moshpit-less, full-attention all-ears gig, until Greg (I think - I was stuck behind someone tall) takes the time for words of heartfelt thanks to all. Old favourites and brilliant fragments of the new album fly past, some madly progressive, some pure pop, some radio friendly rock n roll, until an encore has Satomi leave her instruments to approach the front. Freed from her playing duties, she dances and makes mysterious gestures for us, as playful as their lyrics and as life-affirming. Not the greatest place to see them, but Deerhoof are a still a very special treat. Marina Organ (Organ #205, May 10th 2007)