Album Review

Deerhoof - Actually, You Can

‘Conventional’, if only by their wildly ambitious standards.

Deerhoof - Actually, You Can

Having spent the best part of 25 years incanting mystic spells of high-concept, experimental rock, Deerhoof adopt a more pared-back approach for this, their 18th studio album. Starved of live performance, a deliberately simplified ensemble of guitars, bass and drums ventures a more immediate feel to ‘Actually, You Can’, culminating in one of their more conventionally textured records of recent years - ‘conventional’, if only by their wildly ambitious standards. ‘Actually…’ delivers a fairground of gleeful unpredictability populated by usual Deerhoof tropes: elliptical song titles, a whole gamut of biblical references, and disjointed rhythms that prance majestically between tempos and motifs. Lead single and album highpoint ‘Department Of Corrections’ - set at the Last Supper and described tantalisingly as “Judas going Electric” - demonstrates all this gloriously, representing the band’s uncanny ability to execute the most thunderous of distortion with the daintiest, petal-tender touch. Despite standout moments such as this, a clutch of cumbersome tracks, drained of that Deerhoof sparkle - the far from epic ‘Epic Love Poem’ amongst them - sees the album limp to its conclusion. Nevertheless, by this point, the group have already proved their unique virtuosity, if any more proof were needed.

Tags: Deerhoof, Reviews, Album Reviews

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