If Deerhoof belonged to the Legion of Super Heroes, they'd be Color Kid; if new album Friend Opportunity were a big-budget Hollywood movie, it'd be Ocean's Twelve. The fanatically prolific, bicoastal trio of bassist/singer Satomi Matsuzaki, guitarist John Dieterich, and drummer/singer Greg Saunier spray-paint elaborate, deceptive masterpieces using loud, bright hues. Sometimes, of course, the band's power-pop pogo bops are just power-pop pogo bops—see the infamous "Gore in Rut," circa 1997's The Man, the King, the Girl, with that too-precious "bunny bunny bunny!" chorus from Matsuzaki. But Deerhoof are at their best when listeners are at pains to explain exactly what genre is being touched on at any given moment. Like, is "Siriustar"—from 2005's sprawling The Runners Four—mutated electric blues, a nearly a cappella showcase, or dynamite rock? Is Opportunity's disjointed, Pavlovian "Kidz Are So Small" a glorified drum solo, neutered techno, or a half-assed attempt at hip hop? Matsuzaki's elementary-schoolgirl vocals only complicate matters, adding a layer of twee, saccharine cuteness to every last gymnastic compositional or ProTools trick they pull. It's best, really, to just surrender to this gleeful stylistic identity crisis as the paintballs fly and spatter. Many have, which helps explain why the trio were recently featured on the mass-market indie-rock comp This Is Next alongside other sub-underground lifers like Sonic Youth, Ted Leo, Of Montreal, and Spoon.
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