If Deerhoof belonged to the Legion of Super Heroes, they'd be Color Kid; if their new album, Friend Opportunity, were a big-budget Hollywood movie, it'd be Ocean's Twelve. The fanatically prolific, bi-coastal trio of bassist-singer Satomi Matsuzaki, guitarist John Dieterich, and drummer-singer Greg Saunier spraypaint elaborate, deceptive masterpieces using loud, bright hues. Deerhoof are at their best when listeners are at pains to explain exactly what genre is being touched upon at any given moment. Like, is "Siriustar"—from 2005's sprawling The Runners Four—mutated electric blues, or near-a capella 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? That elementary-schoolgirl-voiced Matsuzaki is Deerhoof's primary vocalist complicates matters, adding a layer of twee, saccharine cuteness to every last gymnastic-compositional or Pro Tools trick pulled. 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.
Tue., Oct. 2, 9 p.m., 2007

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