Release Date: November 27, 2105
For fans of them, the weirdness of Deerhoof has become something of legend, for others who never listened but heard of, a myth until you discover it: an experimental group pimping out the sound quality that can only be deemed as noise rock, which has taken and expanded upon the likes of Bowie or Devo in their most experimental phases, and then sprinkled it with some Zappa on top. If that description doesn't sound like it is for you, stop here and don't listen to this album. However, if that description sounds all sorts of appealable-cult-wacky to you, or you want something that feels occasionally punker than punk, then what are you waiting for: get this album.
Fever 121614 was born out of Deerhoof's Japan tour last December, in which they decided to record their live show on one of those Tokyo nights. The result is what anyone who has seen them live would know: something that sounds even more sporadic than the normal album of theirs. We are talking the sound cranked up, the lyrics way more incomprehensible (except when they say "Arigato!" at the end of a song), and, of course, the drums and rhythms feeling even more offbeat than usual.
The album's plus: wild, fever dream pace, experimentation. What they do, and honestly do the best, is please their cult following as they have for years now with their off the cuff style of try-and-discover. They illustrate and do that best here. The album's downside: to the untrained ear, every track begins to sound the same. Too much experimentation and variation begins to sound like nothing but musical diarrhea for the listener who is not into this sort of thing or has never experienced before, it is easy for them to check out mentally and not get attached or revisit.
Standout tracks include the charmingly off-paced opening of "Exit Only". Track two, "Paradise Girls" follows it up, giving us one of the most catchy tunes on the record. "Twin Killers" further into the album is another great example of just jamming in this genre at it's best. The final standout for me was then the closing track, "Come See The Duck", providing us with a nice bookend to wrap up album's balance, with its distinct tone and odd form.
You may appreciate it. You may dig it. You may hate it. That means that even if it is not this specific album, you have to experience at least one of Deerhoof's albums. This is the only way to give a verdict on Deerhoof for yourself. It is at times such a distinctly experimental sound that it is something you can only recommend to a select group of people, but for that group of people, this album, Fever 121614, is a hit out of the park home run for them.
A related side note, Deerhoof is normally great for getting drunk, then putting on TV show Meerkat Manor, but muting the show and instead playing an album of theirs loudly as you watch. This statement may not make sense to some, hell my editor may take it out of the review, but if this final paragraph does make it in and you try it, you will 100% understand what I have just written.
Reviewed by Drew 1340