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Album Review

San Francisco's strident Deerhoof is a much-loved deconstructionist art-pop outfit. The band is part no wave skronk, part Yoko Ono meets the B-52's, and part weirdo J-pop, and continues to push the musical envelope on each new recording. Reveille is a pretty good example of what Deerhoof is capable of. Quite a few of its songs are instrumental, for the most part, helter-skelterish flare-ups with primitive Casio-like bloops and bleeps, angular fizz-pop guitars, and epileptic drum freakouts. Those few songs that feature Satomi Matsuzaki's purring falsetto — her very presence elevates this band above most avant pop groups — have a simplicity and sugar-soaked sweetness, enticing listeners with charm before boxing their ears with an all-out aural assault. Reveille begins with an unassuming spoken word opening before launching into a variety of sounds. "All Rise" has a baseball stadium-cum-church organ feel, and "Days & Nights in the Forest" starts off with progressive jazz elements before introducing other elements. Though Deerhoof reportedly has to be seen performing live — when the bandmembers are able to temper and balance the explosive quiet-loud of their tunes — to be fully appreciated and to get the full effect, this album is as good a place to start your journey as any of the group's recordings.


Formed: 1994 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

By turns cuddly and chaotic, San Francisco's Deerhoof mix noise, sugary melodies, and an experimental spirit into sweetly challenging and utterly distinctive music that made them one of the most acclaimed acts of the 2000s and 2010s. The group began as the brainchild of guitarist Rob Fisk and drummer/keyboardist Greg Saunier in 1994; early releases, such as the 1995 7"s Return of the Woods M'Lady and For Those of Us on Foot, had a more traditionally harsh, no wave-inspired sound, though they also...
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