Posted by: will | January 23, 2007


Deerhoof “Friend Opportunity” (Kill Rock Stars)

Buy it at Insound!

I have a love/hate relationship with Deerhoof. I go back and forth from loving the band’s brand of jagged art-pop or finding it to be like fingernails on a chalkboard. It really is fascinating that my moods can change how I feel about a band so drastically. Friend Opportunity is the band’s eight album and sees the band moving into more accessible waters than past releases.

Deerhoof are certainly not for everyone. The band rarely writes your typical pop song. Whether it is lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s high pitched vocals or the eclectic and varied instrumental diversions the band creates, it is rarely a direct shot from beginning of a song to the end. “+81” is a great track highlighted by horns and a brilliant guitar riff that echoes throughout the length of the song. “Believe E.S.P.” is a track reminiscent of the great Enon. The song’s rhythm is certainly dance worthy. “Choco Fight” and “Whither The Invisible Birds” are back to back some of the most accessible and beautiful tracks Deerhoof have ever written. They lay Satomi Matsuzaki’s childlike vocals out in the open for all to hear much in the way Bjork has done in the past. “Cast Off Crown” sees John Dieterich taking over vocals and it works so well that I hope the band considers it more in the future. “Matchbook Seeks Maniac” is a great and fairly straight-forward rock song the likes rarely seen by Deerhoof.

Friend Opportunity is a wonderfully diverse record which really captures just about every style Deerhoof is prone to create. It is a record that proves this band is capable of just about anything. They can go from abrasive to beautiful in a split second. Perhaps that is exactly the reason for my love/hate relationship with the band. But, that’s certainly not their fault…I’m the one with the issues, not them.

RIYL: Enon, Blonde Redhead, Sonic Youth


Deerhoof – +81 (mp3)

Deerhoof – Choco Fight (mp3)



  1. I love Deerhoof! I find them fun and not off-putting at all. There’s something charming in their very spare sound and (I hate to use this word) quirkiness that is appealing to me. I should not like them and their Plastic Ono like vocals and melodies but yet, I do.

  2. there is/was a really good Deerhoof interview in TapeOp a few months ago. i think the deal is, the entire band is comprised of audiophiles who have to experiment and tinker with every song, unlike every other band that just hits “record”. credit the imagination and willingness of experimentation of the band as the reason behind the diversity (i.e. good/bad) of songs on each album. i haven’t heard this one yet but the previous albums kinda see-saw from one end of the spectrum to the other. “The Runners Four” probably the best, imho. also, i think it’ll be interesting to hear any difference since Chris left the band. deep, huh? if i can find that TapeOp, i’ll give it to you.

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