Deerhoof: La Isla Bonita (Polyvinyl) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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La Isla Bonita


Dec 02, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The world doesn’t realize how much it needs Deerhoof until a new Deerhoof album appears. Their thirteenth LP is full of the quirks and original sparks that have helped to define the band and have set apart the rest of their catalog from pretty much anything else released at the time, all of which is easiest to appreciate at the moment it seems obvious that nearly any other music sounds a bit dismal if following a Deerhoof record.

La Isla Bonita launches immediately into a song that could serve as a Deerhoof calling card. Over some funky drumming, singer Satomi Matsuzaki celebrates female bass players throughout “Paradise Girls,” which alternates occasional Ohio Players-style guitar riffing with King Crimson-ish art strikes. “Mirror Monster” follows, with sweetly shimmering strums giving way to a brief interlude that sounds like some great, lost ‘60s recording before taking a sharp turn elsewhere. When she’s not singing, Matsuzaki quietly mouths along with other instruments as casually as someone grabbing loose laundry while passing through a room.

Tracks like “Doom” highlight how everyone present is essential to what is taking place, where a change to any element of that interaction would give a song a perceptibly different gait. “Last Fad” is such a madly multifaceted object that you can almost hear the band whisper a dare for anyone to try and cover it. With tricky-yet-beefy drumming and bass that tracks it like a halo, the guitars storm through shock-art blitzes with Matsuzaki flying right alongside them. Believe it or not, it’s catchy as hell. And just for good measure, for the Ramones-on-steroids “Exit Only,” Deerhoof lets their inner bull run freely through the china shop. Everything is broken. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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