Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Exit Only"- Deerhoof

"Exit Only," the first single off of Deerhoof's upcoming 13th album La Isla Bonita, is remarkably "tame" for a band that's been known to "shock and awe." Produced by Nick Sylvester of the deceased lo-fi outfit Mr. Dream, it's a surging piece of bubblegum punk that wouldn't have been out of place on the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack. Unsung guitar hero John Dieterich's main garage riff has the crunch of stepping on dead leaves on the dirty ground. His brief segments of noodling flap about like the tentacles of a sugar-addled octopus. To keep up drummer Greg Saunier locks into a machine gun rat-a-tat-tat that would leave crater-sized bullet holes in anyone that stepped in front of his kit. There's no erraticism in the band’s approach; instead of scratching your head you bang along with pure joy.

The questions start to come though with vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki's sung/snapped vocals. There's zero consistency. She leapfrogs from cordoned off threats "I won't let you," to open arm greetings "bienvenido," with little concern for logic. At one point she coolly sings "too many choice to order breakfast" like a snotty hotel clerk on acid. And then after 2 minutes and 45 seconds of enigmatic "rambling," she stops on point to thank you for coming and orders you to "get out now." What starts as straightforward ends in the unknown.

La Isla Bonita is out November 4 on Polyvinyl.

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