Apple O'
/kill rock stars; 2003/



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I’ve been intending to review this album for months now. Deerhoof’s 2003 release is probably their best album to date. Their previous album entitled Reveille was puzzling in the sense that they constantly interspersed their peculiar idiosyncratic noise-pop with numerous superfluous intermissions. On the contrary, Apple O is mainly made of tracks that come close to an average song format regarding structure and duration, which is, let me reassure you, far from becoming mainstream. In addition, intermissions have become sparse and less experimental.

The ones who enjoy their previous albums and who had the chance to attend one of their concerts won’t be disappointed in any way. Their particular strange noise-pop has improved and has moved away from Blonde Redhead’s shadow. The songs are still jagged, rhythmically and structurally challenging thanks to their inventive syncopated drummer and slanted guitar lines. Moreover, Satomi’s child-like high-pitched onomatopoeic vocals are either catchier than before and make Deerhoof’s personal twisted mixture more accessible (the catchy opener ‘dummy discords a heart’ whose pleasant circus aspect is echoed by both ‘sealed with a kiss’ and ‘my diamond star car’, the twisted ‘flower’, n°8; ‘Heart failure’ is a wonderful heady piece in which her voice is incredibly appealing.) or they are shyly sad, giving a new dimension to their musical refuge. ‘Apple bomb’ is an enraptured ballad that becomes epic by gradations. The instruments swirl while the tiny voice proceeds with its oriental singing exercises. ‘Dinner for two’ and the final song are reminiscent of Yoko Ono in their subdued fragile but somehow roguish delivery. Finally ‘Panda Panda Panda’ is the best song on the album. Twisted. Syncopated. Amusing. Noisy. Pleasantly childish and Full of energy. And you should see their live choreography on this song… Panda Panda Panda…

-SEB ‘my own private timing’ WOOd.

/dec 15th 2003/