Deerhoof / Breakup Songs
Twenty years later and they've still got it, writes John Power
Nearly two decades into their career San Francisco’s Deerhoof return with the twelfth album of their career, a set of songs they’ve described themselves as “Cuban-flavored party-noise-energy music”. Notoriously eclectic and hard to pin down that description will do as well as any, though it only scratches the surface of an album that veers from abrasive staccato rhythms forever just on the edge of collapse, through to gloriously upbeat power-pop via several surprisingly chunky riffs and broken, injured electronics.
When musicians more associated with experimental music take on pop music, it’s often feels like having phone sex with a 50-year-old virgin with a PHD in reproductive biology, sure you might learn something new but you’re rarely left satisfied. Deerhoof though have embraced pop with open hearts, minds and arms, and whilst they’re unlikely to trouble the daytime listenership of Radio 1 anytime soon, songs like ‘Zero Seconds Pause’ burst with a sense of joy and inventiveness that recalls Cornelius at his best.
Ending on a high the album bows out with the excellent 8-bit stomp of ‘Mario’s Flaming Whiskers’ before seguing into the gorgeous album closer ‘Fete d’Adieu’ a song with a chorus big and warm hearted enough to throw its arms around the world. Rarely has a breakup sounded like so much fun.