Deerhoof, “La Isla Bonita”


La Isla Bonita


Like Ol’ Dirty Bastard, there seems to be no father to Deerhoof’s style. Their tempo changes and stop-start dynamics are like an NYC no-wave band, coupled with Satomi Matsuzaki’s absurdist take on cheerleader chants and bubblegum pop. Since 1994, the San Francisco band has built a catalog that is pulsating with noise, joy, and invention (see the 2003–2005 run of Apple O’, Milk Man, and The Runners Four). La Isla Bonita locks into some of the band’s most heavy rhythms (“Big House Waltz”) before detouring into frantic directions, ones generally propelled by drummer Greg Saunier. Part Gene Krupa and part that dude from Lightning Bolt, he heads deep into the anarchic void. Guitarist Ed Rodriguez keeps things surprising with feedback and melodic fills tucked in weird corners of these elastic songs. There is nothing like Deerhoof, and La Isla Bonita is another testimonial of their avant-punk-pop charm and innovation, still untouched two decades in the game.


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