Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Deerhoof: Offend Maggie

Deerhoof's songs make plenty of sense in their own fractured way, at least for those willing to follow the band's logic (or take a lucky guess at it). One catchy and mystifying bit crashes into another, and everyone goes home a little crazier and a little happier. Then again, that discounts the purposeful tightness of the band's adventures. It's a lot easier to credit them for that after hearing Offend Maggie. Satomi Matsuzaki's vocals push into the lead more than ever before, helping each phase of a song muscle over into the next. The album-opening "The Tears And Music Of Love" has the feeling of a band charging forward in unison despite its love of playful tangents. Not that they've left those behind: A flickering acoustic guitar figure at first seems like the most whimsical part of "Offend Maggie," but holds the song together as the band thickens up the noise atop breezy hooks. On "Buck And Judy," the tuneful passages and deconstructed instrumental bits don't just coexist—they bleed into each other, giving the song time to build up a conflicted swirl of moods. In fact, nearly all the songs on Offend Maggie find different ways to achieve a surprisingly full, evocative union of Deerhoof's pop sense and experimental whims, whether they're tossing and turning in gleeful anticipation ("Snoopy Waves") or in anxiety ("My Purple Past").


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