Deerhoof is a quartet comprised of half-male/half-female parts, playing guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. The music on Holdy Paws seems very live, like the band is actually playing right in front of you in your room. The Blonde Redhead comparisons are unavoidable: higher-pitched female vocals backed by thick distorted guitar, angular drums, and very minimal keyboards. The single-note keyboard parts seem to push Deerhoof along to a slightly different direction. What really makes this record interesting is the anthropomorphism of the lyrics. Deerhoof is possibly trying to tell the feelings of animals in the perspective of the animals. They bring you into the animal realm, but never take you on an adventure, just kind of leaving you stranded. "The Moose's Daughter" has a Shellac sound, tough guitars drone in a steady rhythm. The melody comes through with a nursery rhyme style, which gives the song a haunting touch. "Crow," like many of the tracks on Holdy Paws, has a chorus that seems to break the repetitious nature of the verses. These choruses are a sigh of relief in the direction you want Deerhoof to explore more. The little doodles on the insert mimic the clashing feelings of playfulness and melancholy of the record. Holdy Paws slows down as it goes along, leaving the memorable songs at the beginning. It works wonderfully as an EP would with songs of your choice.
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AllMusic Review by Francis Arres