Deerhoof - Offend Maggie (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Offend Maggie (2008)

Kill Rock Stars

Building off a foundation of angular but loose garage rock, Deerhoof has once again released an album bound to cause mild confusion in the uninitiated listener. Shedding most of the electronic element that has been featured in previous efforts, Offend Maggie is instead a showcase of big guitar riffs and steady and intricate drum beats.

That can't be true, right? I mean, the band has a song titled "Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back" centered around simple percussion rhythms and a guitar mirroring Satomi's delicate voice singing about, what I gather, basketball. Opener "The Tears of Love and Music," however, has a different opinion of the direction Deerhoof has taken. Setting the tone for the album, the band rips into a hard, snarling riff complemented perfectly by some serious disjointed skin pounding (and not the kind Barack gave to Michelle on stage). But then again, seeing as how this is Deerhoof, you shouldn't be surprised by the extremely experimental blips and noises that populate through "This Is God Speaking."

Experimentalism aside, it's the straightforward rock tracks like "My Purple Past" which takes the rough-edged riffing from "The Tears of Love and Music" and melds them with a lounge-smooth verse. It's tracks like these that help set the stage for the cascading acoustic guitars of the title track and the spacey bump grind of "Buck and Judy."

Trying to categorize Deerhoof is like trying to rope down an inconsolable bull with a piece of twine: Your twine's gonna break, my friend, and you will be left in the dust frustrated and without steak for dinner. Instead, a more apt approach is to allow the Deerhoof album steer (get it?) you where to go, and just to ride along with the bumps and bruises. You'll appreciate the ride better, and probably decide against eating the bull in the first place, developing a platonic friendship between man and beast beyond the grasp of any of the judging outsiders. That's it, my friend, ride the bull.