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Deerhoof Friend Opportunity

Creating fractured pop collages topped off by calliope-voiced songbird Satomi Matsuzaki, Deerhoof gets the spazz tag too often, as if its lush and willfully weird music is just the end result of chugging too much Jolt Cola. But Friend Opportunity, the group's more relaxed yet equally complex new record, shows the 'Hoof is just as adept at pacing and restraint. For every stampeding song, where chugging drums build like a wick slowly reaching its end, there are subdued moments framed by blunted beats and Matsuzaki's grandiose coo. The prickly guitars of the 11-minute-plus closer "Look Way" even unfold like a free-jazz soundscape. The departure of guitarist Chris Cohen means less inspired noodling, but Deerhoof has filled in any empty spaces with plenty of rich, moody melody. Just don't call it their "mature" record.

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