Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bestest of 2005 # 6- Deerhoof: The Runners Four

Man, sometimes I really hate bands like Deerhoof. And until fairly recently, I actually hated Deerhoof. You see, they were one of those bands that I never "got" but always felt like I was supposed to. You know the bands I mean. The ones that friends rave about. The ones that get mostly great reviews in publications that you respect. But no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to understand why. I mean, I saw them as a couple of avant tard art students and some strange Japanese girl singing off key. Big deal. They reminded me of every annoying K records band from the early 90s that I was also supposed to like but didn't.

Hearing The Runners Four didn't really change my attitude. Ok, more of the same weird for the sake of being weird stuff. Maybe I'm not very "artsy" I thought, maybe I'm "losing my edge." For some reason however, I kept listening to this record. I don't know why: boredom(s) perhaps. Maybe just to give them a fair chance before I wrote them off for good. Whatever it was, something happened after the third listen or so. I started to hear the pop melodies. The abrupt changes started to make sense. The rhythm section started to really impress me. The little hooks started getting stuck in my head. And before I knew it I was telling people about Deerhoof, and even started raving about their singer, which is something that I would have made fun of just a few months before. This is certainly the most poppy record they've ever made, and probably the best introduction for someone that hasn't heard them. But to be sure, they aren't for everyone: the changes are still strange, the vocals are still taxing, and its still an all around difficult record to listen to. However, like me, you might start to hear things differently after a couple of listens. You might start to hear delicate, quite textures and foot tapping rhythms. As you listen to songs like "Wrong Time Capsule," you might start to hear classic rock as fuck guitar parts, and you might start to wonder how you could have classified this band as anything but rock n roll despite their inescapable art school vibe. And listening to "Spirit Ditties Of No Tone" for the 3rd or 4th time, you might start to wonder why you hadn't noticed how catchy Deerhoof could be despite their unconventional approach to song structure. And then you might start to wonder why you didn't like them before even though you've always liked Stereolab and the Slits.

Or maybe you won't. You might just keep making fun of me and people like me for being slaves to the indie hype machine, for liking a band just because Pitchfork does. Thats fine... I used to do the same thing. But just remember, now that I actually like Deerhoof: I'm definitely more hip than you.



Blogger fuzzbuzz said...

I first saw Deerhoof before I heard them. They played in Dallas..oh years ago at Galaxy CLub?- I think?! They were all barefoot and the singer was dancing around in a bunny suit. I loved it! But then again.....I love bunny, bunny,bunny, bunny,bunnies! Thanks for reminding me about them.

7:53 AM  
Blogger zak said...

I can't stop listening to this one. And I talk about it to anyone who will listen... of course, too many people hate her voice. Oh well, their loss. The Green Cosmos ep from 05 is damn good too.

10:03 AM  

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