With Deerhoof's fourth album, Halfbird, the San Francisco-based trio channeled their chaotic tendencies into actual songs without losing much, if any, of their playful absurdity and pummeling energy. Like Yoko Ono fronting the White Stripes, Deerhoof combines avant wordplay with bluesy, punked-out garage rock, with vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki teetering between inviting whispers and a patience-testing falsetto. Not light listening by any stretch, but the album's loud-soft dynamic is easily digested after a few listens. From the quiet yet brooding meditation of "Red Dragon" and "Xmas Tree" to the all-out sonic mayhem of "Rat Attack" and "Trickybird," Halfbird is a well-paced and adventurous collection. Maybe not as successful as Reveille, but certainly a close second.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Nickey