Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 02:09
The best way to experience Breakup Song, the 12th album from the noise-pop outfit Deerhoof, is YouTube. The band’s official video of the album backs it with hazy video of singer Satomi Matsuzaki pulling bright balloons through the deserted Brooklyn streets, as shot by a floating “balooncam.”
It’s a smart accompaniment to the frenzied, messy record itself. Gloriously incohesive, Breakup Song is seemingly unconcerned with consistency or it’s place in Deerhoof’s daunting oeuvre.
Any band that puts out 11 albums in a little over a decade is going to draw criticisms of tiredness and repetition. Thus, the band members stress their commitment to freshness and spontaneity in the press, and throw everything they can at the wall when on record. Witness “There’s That Grin,” which crosses back and forth on itself in front of a traffic jam of electric pulses and horns. It’s surprisingly good-natured, if still a tad toothless.
Often both entrancing and impenetrable, Matsuzaki’s vocals paint the singer as both cheerful dictator and hopeless romantic; “I’ll allow you one phone call,” she croons on “The Trouble With Candyhands.”
Attacking guitar rhythms and electronic bleeps are the order of the day, brushing up against a slinky dance rhythm at the end of “Mario’s Flaming Whiskers III” and funky bass on “Flower.”
Deerhoof is edging closer and closer to accessibility with each album. It’s their gift and their curse that the music they make is entertaining but not quite indelible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come along for the ride.