US - California - Full Moon 130 - 05/02/07
Deerhoof + My Disco
Let's face it: my review of Friend Opportunity was crap. At the time I wrote it I knew I loved the album, but couldn't quite put into words what it was that made it so good. Having now seen Deerhoof live for the second time, I think I understand their alchemy a little better.
So, we're talking energy! Attention to detail! Musicianship! Sense of humour! And, most important of all, great songs!
Deerhoof have got their shit down. They fucking nail shit live. I'm telling you now, if you've haven't seen Deerhoof live, make it a life priority. They come to town, you make sure you see them. I'm serious.
But, before I continue spewing superlatives, they did have a support band who accompanied them on their Australian tour: My Disco. The Melbourne trio weren't quite as ace as they were when they supported Comets on Fire, but they were still pretty damn good. I may have to get their Cancer album. The rhythmic dynamic was as earth-shattering as ever, and they aired some excellent new songs, but they didn't quite nail it for me. And nailing it is exactly what My Disco do best, like a piledriver with a shitload of brutal groove. Perhaps they were tired from all the driving around the country.
Deerhoof preceded their set with a brief singalong for My Disco's drummer's birthday, showing that not only are they an amazing band, but they're bloody nice people too. Kind of huggable, and the sort of folk that you want to hang out with, like Yo La Tengo.
Anyway, the music. When I saw them touring Runners Four as a quartet before Chris Cohen left, the music was amazing, but the set was a little too heavy. Deerhoof make an awesome racket, but the last time I saw them I was totally floored after forty minutes and the remainder of the set just seemed like overkill. This time round the whole set was absolute dynamite, and when they came back to encore "Kidz Are So Small", I wanted them to play it! Imagine that: a cute, throwaway track on their new album, and they come back to play it as an encore and it's brilliant. That's the genius of these guys.
Every song they played live that I knew, and there were loads of them, were rendered with such skill and verve that it was jawdropping. Guitarist John Dieterich is now my hero. Sad but true. His guitar lines are so groovy and odd and catchy that it's daft. I was grinning like a twat! They rattled through some of my faves, including "Spirit Ditties Of No Tone", "The Perfect Me", "Believe ESP" and "The Galaxist", flowing from one song into another, clearly having a ball. Satomi was scissor-kicking like a schoolgirl or up the front performing hand gestures, and Greg did what Greg does best: smack seven shades of a shit out of a minimal drum kit, creating more groove and detail in his beats than 99% of other drummers with five times as many drums.
I'll say it again: go and see Deerhoof now! (While you're at it, buy all their albums from Reveille onwards too. You won't regret it.)
Copyright © 2007 Tim Clarke