Kill Rock Stars
Like Cibo Matto before them, the Japanese female-fronted Deerhoof are an odd, but acquired taste. Artsy, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink music with childlike vocals and elementary lyrics makes this an album that many people will completely disregard. Listen upon listen upon another listen is the only way for Deerhoof to start making sense.
Vocalist/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki is the dominant voice on Friend Opportunity and her bizarre quirks and sugary-sweet voice are like a 5-year-old trying to mimic Bjork, Kim Gordon, or Kim Deal. She pulls sounds and melodies out of the air and throws them atop the experimentation of drums and guitar in a way that leaves the end result sounding like a bastardization of noise rock and pop rock as performed by a band unafraid to take chances. In the tradition of The Breeders and Sonic Youth, Deerhoof mess around with the songs they write instead of just playing them straight through.
As unconventional as Deerhoof sound, they are still able to produce hit single-sounding songs like “+81” and “The Perfect Me.” Both are driven by a simple drum beat and painted with an irresistible guitar hook. It’s the what was that line?! moment in the song “Kidz Are So Small” that really brought this disc out of the ordinary for me:
“If I were men/ and you a dog/ I’d throw a stick for you.”
That line is repeated again and again for just under two minutes with an old Nintendo sound happening behind it. It’s just careless enough to be brilliant.