Noise Inspectors

Deerhoof has repeatedly been praised for their experimental nature, but they’ve never really caught my attention—up until now.

It’s not clear what “evil” forces Deerhoof is facing on their latest album. Is it a political statement? Maybe they’re battling a platoon of mediocre and boring albums by other artists; who knows?

Whatever their scruples, Deerhoof is victorious. Deerhoof vs. Evil is a great success.

Merging their reckless and experimental nature with listenable and catchy hooks, Deerhoof has crafted a fine album.

Granted, lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s vocals are a bit of an acquired taste. While her voice is sweet, her Japanese accent is fairly strong. Fans of J-pop or Katamari Damacy should have no problem adjusting, but other American listeners may have trouble adapting.

Open-minded individuals will be rewarded. Just as a song seems predictable, Deerhoof throws a curve ball. Sometimes it’s in the form of a guitar barrage and a unique chord progression (“Secret Mobilization”). Other times, a dramatic tempo change appears and a song will segue unexpectedly (“Must Fight Current”).

Whatever the instance, Deerhoof vs. Evil is unique and refreshing. At just 32 minutes in length, it won’t wear the listener out either.

Rating: A

The Get Up Kids – There Are Rules

So many reunion albums are terrible. Think about it—there are generally (good) reasons that bands break up in the first place. Regardless, the Get Up Kids manage to beat the odds on There Are Rules, their first album in almost seven years.

Rather than trying to recapture their old sound, which would have likely been a mistake, The Get Up Kids have updated their sound. It seems like a logical progression—they started making music before “emo” became a dirty word.

On There are Rules, the band sounds at times like The Strokes (“Regent’s Court”) and like “And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead…” at other times (“Automatic”). Don’t worry, the music isn’t nearly as pretentious as anything by AYWKUBTTOD.

James Dewees keyboards are now a stronger factor in The Get Up Kids’ sound. It seems fitting, since Dewees has gained a considerable amount of fame with his side project, Reggie and the Full Effect.

The best thing about There Are Rules, is that The Get Up Kids sound fresh and young. Many of the songs are full of energy and some even border on reckless.

Still, The Get Up Kids are always in control. Songs like “Rally ‘Round the Fool” showcase the band’s maturity.

It’s a great album for both old fans and the unacquainted.