Music News

Critic's Choice

The members of Deerhoof, who drop by Monkey Mania (2126 Arapahoe Street) on Wednesday, April 30, understand the difference between "childlike" and "childish." Apple O', the San Francisco-based combo's latest disc on the Kill Rock Stars imprint, is an undiluted blast of sheer exuberance, and thanks to the guitar jousting of Chris Cohen and John Dietrich, the idiosyncratic rhythms tossed out by drummer Greg Saunier, and Satomi Matsuzaki's guileless vocals, the music's as smart as it is witty. On tracks such as "Panda Panda Panda," on which most of the lyrics are incorporated within its title, and "Heart Failure," in which she sings about "teen pop" shooting "straight to the top," Matsuzaki sounds happier than a dental hygienist accidentally locked in a room filled with nitrous oxide. Yet during the quieter sections of "Apple Bomb," she allows a hint of melancholy to creep into her girly tone, which only makes the moments when she has to squeal to be heard over the slamming riffs that much more thrilling. As Apple O' proves, Deerhoof makes kids' stuff in the best sense of the term.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts