Deerhoof vs. Evil

The song starts with lurching effects and percussion before segueing from riotous soca to lugubrious funk to what sounds like drunkard's take on Cuban son. The lyrics are in Catalan. The singer is Japanese. Yep—it's Deerhoof. "Qui Dorm, Només Somia," the curtain-raiser on the San Francisco art-punks' tenth studio album, is typical of the group's ADD stylings, shifting on a dime from quiet to loud, whipsawing between genres and time signatures, while Satomi Matsuzaki coos shiny melodies in an eerie pipsqueak voice. Deerhoof vs. Evil breaks no new ground; "The Merry Barracks" and "C'Moon" boast the band's signature mix of dissonance and pop tunefulness, with surreal lyrics that can be too self-consciously quirky. But in songs like "Hey I Can," there's some Sixties utopianism lurking in Deerhoof's bustling musical mix. "Love, love, love, love," Matsuzaki sings. "Fun, fun, fun, fun."

Listen to "The Merry Barracks":


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