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Halfbird

Deerhoof

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Album Review

With Deerhoof's fourth album, Halfbird, the San Francisco-based trio channeled their chaotic tendencies into actual songs without losing much, if any, of their playful absurdity and pummeling energy. Like Yoko Ono fronting the White Stripes, Deerhoof combines avant wordplay with bluesy, punked-out garage rock, with vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki teetering between inviting whispers and a patience-testing falsetto. Not light listening by any stretch, but the album's loud-soft dynamic is easily digested after a few listens. From the quiet yet brooding meditation of "Red Dragon" and "Xmas Tree" to the all-out sonic mayhem of "Rat Attack" and "Trickybird," Halfbird is a well-paced and adventurous collection. Maybe not as successful as Reveille, but certainly a close second.

Biography

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. 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 included the quirky tendencies that dominated their later efforts. Vocalist/bassist...
Full bio

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