Published Jan 24, 2011Do Deerhoof ever "chill out"? It's hard to picture the electrifying foursome sitting down to a quiet family meal, or, hell, even going to sleep. Deerhoof vs. Evil could change that notion; while miles from a snooze-fest, Evil captures Deerhoof in a less frenzied, seemingly more ponderous state, willing to "sit still" musically for longer than on previous records and able to exercise all of their braininess without as much brawn. That's not to say Deerhoof vs. Evil either trumps or is trumped by their previous work; it's another absorbing chapter in the band's ongoing tightrope walk between jazzy eccentricity and pop perfection. Amidst rhythm-based barnstormers like album highlight "Qui Dorm, Només Somia" and cover "Let's Dance the Jet" lie gentler gems like the flamenco-tinged "No One Asked to Dance" and the woozy groove of "Secret Mobilization." At the centre is sarcastic pop masterpiece "Super Duper Rescue Heads!," which perfectly exemplifies Deerhoof's uncanny knack to imbue their natural rhythmic complexity with sweet melody. Deerhoof vs. Evil might represent a foray slightly more pop-ward than the band's yet been, but even purists will struggle to worry amongst this album's rich rewards.
Who picked the title Deerhoof vs. Evil and what's the significance?
Greg Saunier: You know, I came up with that title. It may have something to do with a feeling that there's no shortage of evil in the world and things that we might wish weren't there: diseases, wars, people with no homes. Basically, that this thing that we and the band have been driven to do all this time really can do nothing to fight it. I mean, music has been an obsession for me since I was a little kid and no matter how many times I've realized that pursuing it is completely pointless, I haven't been able to stop. And so, I think the idea, the feeling I get with that title, is just an expression of absurdity; it's a lie. It's also, I think, playing on how Deerhoof often get talked about and written about [in the media]. This always surprises me, but it's talked about in this way where they'll say, "Deerhoof are here to save music" or to fight against a certain kind of music, or whatever. And, of course, in my mind, nothing could be further from the truth. But I like the idea of playing on that.
To read an interview with Deerhoof, click here. (Polyvinyl)