/kill rock stars; 2002/



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Sometimes you need to see bands live in order to fully appreciate their albums. For example, I only moderately liked Chokebore until I saw them on stage and then I became a die-hard fan. I moderately enjoyed Deerhoof’s Reveille before seeing them live. Since I saw this tall inventive drummer ill-treating his 3 pieces drums (bass drum, snare drum & ride) in various slantwise positions, this small Japanese girl playing bass and singing with a child’s voice while performing choreographs (Panda, panda…) and these two other guys playing guitar on each side of the drums, I’ve discovered another dimension in the album.

Before the gig, I liked Deerhoof and considered the cd as a collection of jagged (both in time and structure) noise-pop songs containing from time to time passages à la Blonde Redhead interspersed by peculiar intermissions. There is of course not as energy on the album if you compare it with what is developed on stage but the songs somehow reach a new dimension. Now I still sometimes have the feeling of moments close to Blonde Redhead, mainly due to the singing when it is soft and to some guitar lines (‘This Magnificent Bird Will Rise’ and the wonderful ‘The last Trumpeter Swan’ or ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ for example) but they definitely have a jagged aspect. Intermissions take on new charm as well (‘No one Fed me so I stayed’, ‘looper’) while we still don’t know if some tracks are intermissions or real songs that are shortened (‘The Eyebright Bugler’, ‘Top tim rubies’, “Hark the empire”). A friend of ours told us that in his opinion DeerHoof is a crossover between Yoko Ono and bands like The Red Crayola that used to play very jagged songs (“Holy night fever”, “Frenzied handsome hello’), which I guess depicts quite well the tension between Satomi’s childlike vocals and Greg’s fierce drumming. Anyway, Deerhoof is a weird noise-pop band which could easily please a larger audience; after all a song such as ‘Punch Buggy Valves’ is a short, noisy and incredibly catchy piece.

Reveille is more a madhouse than their previous album (entitled Halfbird which I have found since) and the question we might ask (and which is asked in our interview I believe) is what is the direction of their new album which shall be released next month ?

-Blacklisted Igor

/mar 1st 2003/