Deerhoof 
Milk Man
/kill rock stars; 2004/

 

 



more info:
deerhoof.killrockstars.com

« Write something about Deerhoof’s last record you lousy jerk ! »

Well I’m telling you, life ain’t funny for the dog faced boys, especially when they are writing reviews for a webzine. Anyway, I have got to write something.

I am not a real member of Only Angels’ team. I just hang around sometimes in the places they go to (just to show off actually) and when they are in a good mood they ask me to do a little review (even if most of my production has been refused until now. I wish they had accepted my article about polyrythms in Saxon’s “Wheels of Steel”...I’m sure you would have liked to read something about that...). Actually, they often ask me to write about the hardest bands to describe. Maybe you remember that I had a hard time trying to review Melt Banana’s last record. This is a conspiracy...

So, one more time for the world (if that really means something). Well, well, well. Let me start with the usual bullshit. I don’t know a lot about Deerhoof. I have discoverd this band very recently and I just have their three last records “Reveille”, “Apple O” and “Milk Man”. That’s really a few of their production since I think they have made something like 6 LPs up until now.

The first time I heard their music was at one of their shows. Do you really care about the shows I’m going to? No. But maybe it will help to describe their music. I could not stay long that night but what I saw was excellent. Deerhoof is a 5 piece band:two guys play guitar, another one plays drums and a tiny little japanese girl (Satomi Matsuzaki) plays bass. The show was incredible. Their drummer is completely crazy on stage. He plays with a very little drumkit (only a snare drum, a bass drum a a big ride cymbal) and do very stunning breaks even when the band is playing a little pop song. Satomi sings with a kind of bird voice and dances with very funny steps. She plays bass as if she was a kind of manga heroin, something like “Lucille, amour et rock n’ roll” or Sailor Moon (notice that I always compare music to manga everytime there is at least one japanese member in the band, even if I know absolutely nothing about mangas...).

It’s quite hard to describe Deerhoof’s music. It is a kind of blend of jazz-rock, electronic sounds, experimental and very beautiful pop songs. They sometimes use a drum machine on their records (but not on stage I think) and keyboards. The song “Rainbow silhouette of the milky rain” is a good example of what I am trying to explain. “Dog on the sidewalk”, the following track is also a very experimental song. The two guys who play guitar also play in another band called Gorge Trio in which they perform some jazz-rock-concrete-contemporary-pop music. Something really weird, full of crazy polyrythmic structures, sometimes completely improvised, sometimes very much written.

One could say (somebody who would have listened to Deerhoof for quite a long time) that “Milk Man” is just another good record by a very good band. A good record, but there's nothing new in their music. That’s true, to a certain extent. This record is filled with the kind of songs the band is usually playing: pop songs with crazy drum breaks and catchy music/singing and short tracks almost experimental. But I tend to think that the band is doing much more than repeating itself. They have not only find their own style (they have been playing something really original for a long time). They are proposing one of the most original and succesfully accomplished music of these days.

I suppose that I have not been really clear telling you how Deerhoof’s music sounds like. If you have never listened to this band but if you want to hear something which could seem to be straight pop music (after all the song “Milk Man” is a very nice pop song) but manage to combine very broad musical influences, try Deerhoof and I guess that you won’t be disappointed. And if you're familiar with this band and if you enjoyed “Apple O”, you will like this record.

-Horace “parisian walkways” de Tupolev

/may 15th 2004/