Leftfield kindergarten singalongs, amazingly
At times, the seventh album by this San Franciscan quartet sounds like a peculiarly avant-garde episode of Sesame Street. Enchanted nursery songs are apparently splintered and reconstructed amid fragments of post-punk, prog-rock, glitch and plenty more theoretically adult, po-faced musics. On paper, it might appear a pretty sickly exercise?a whimsical Blonde Redhead, perhaps. But Deerhoof’s skittish collages always, miraculously, have a pop logic to them, and their desire to show that experimental music can be playful rather than forbidding is often heroic. Astonishingly, too, Milk Man’s quirks are charming instead of self-conscious: the eponymous Milk Man may be a masked child-snatcher with bananas gouged into his flesh, but vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki’s ingenuous squeaks make even this nightmare figure endearing.