Deerhoof 

The Runners Four

There are a few reasons to knock Deerhoof: There’s the inherent gimmick of featuring an elfin-voiced Japanese woman as lead singer. Then there’s the fact the songs often sound like they were recorded in a moving truck, and there’s always the band’s almost annoyingly prolific output, never more evident than on a 20-song album. But that stuff goes out the window when you hear a guitar-rock band playing songs that sound unique, yet actually make sense for once. Even in the hour-long span of The Runners Four, the spacey experimentation is kept to a minimum, leaving only a few dozen incomparably awesome guitar parts led on by Greg Saunier’s spastic drumming. No act since Zappa has so easily slipped from weird atonal riffs to triumphant Who-like power rock in such short song spans, and the end result is an epic throwback to classic prog glory.

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