Deerhoof: Mountain Moves (Joyful Noise) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Mountain Moves

Joyful Noise

Sep 14, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

It’s a good sign when the opening seconds of an album sound cool enough to just loop and repeat, and Deerhoof pull that off on Mountain Moves, their fourteenth album. “Slow Motion Detonation” unfurls with Satomi Matsuzaki repeating the song’s title over the band’s woozy, pounding foundation before rounding the corner toward punchy, proggy pleasures.

“I’m not afraid of the microphone. Is it afraid of me?” sings Matsuzaki on “Con Sordino,” a song that sounds a bit like a kids’ tune with subversive shades that take over when a spark-shooting feedback outburst suddenly parts the curtain.

Moments like these are prime Deerhoof that are sure to please longtime fans. And while the group doesn’t necessarily soften all the edges to play nice with the album’s guest vocalists, some of the usual structural complexity of their songs is smoothed at times to turn the focus more squarely on the interplay between Matsusaki and their visitors.

The band builds tension on the rocking “I Will Spite Survive,” which features Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, before a stinging guitar solo breaks through like an untended laser. Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier sounds like a natural fit on the light, poppy “Come Down Here and Say That,” and the band seems to be having fun setting the stage for rapper Awkwafina.

All conventions were parked at the studio door for the band-only “Begin Countdown.” Starting with bouncy bass and a light blizzard of percussion that hint at Tropicalia, Matsuzaki enters into some engaging vocal interplay with chirping guitars that abruptly shift gears, leading a punishingly distorted beat for a maniacal march straight off a cliff. There’s no more accurate way to describe it than two minutes of sheer, blinding Deerhoof, and that’s a compliment. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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