When it comes to good music that's best in small doses, the problem is one of extremes--consider They Might Be Giants (too cute), Zappa (too cerebral), Sonic Youth (too abrasive). San Francisco's Deerhoof is all of the above, but they pull it off with one other extreme--too catchy. Since sweetening their noise in the late '90s, they've been making what hits you at first like brave but listenable pop, with indelible melodies, candy vocals and sharp-toned guitar interplay. But ten minutes later, Satomi Matsuzaki's schoolgirl voice sinks little hooks into your glands, John Dieterich's guitar bluster starts to burn and manic percussion makes your feet ache. Deerhoof's latest, The Runners Four, gives newcomers a bit more balance by offering a rangier, more relaxed palette, but this Friday, frequent bathroom breaks and deep-breathing exercises are still recommended.
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