Release Date: Oct 11, 2005
Record label: Kill Rock Stars
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
After seven albums' worth of gleeful pandemonium, Deerhoof calm things down a bit with The Runners Four, a collection of songs that are even more restrained than Milk Man and the Green Cosmos EP. Perhaps trying for the unpredictability of their earlier work got too, well, predictable for the band. Even though the manic intensity that characterized work like Reveille is missed a little here, The Runners Four is still a far cry from typical indie rock; in fact, it sounds more like one of Deerhoof's older albums played at half-speed than anything else.
Although Deerhoof began over 10 years ago as a project for guitarist Rob Fisk and powerhouse drummer Greg Saunier, it's only been in the past couple of years that the group's revolving door membership has stabilized a bit, coalescing around a core of Saunier, vocalist/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki, and guitarists John Dietrich and Chris Cohen. The constant addition/subtraction of new members, while not really providing much in terms of a cohesive, easily pegged sound, nonetheless helped drive the bands scattershot noise and pop sensibilities throughout their earliest releases. While in those days the band remained somewhat of a curious anomaly, with the sweetest of pop songs butting up against rather gnarly skronk, the establishment of a reliable lineup has led directly to a steady smoothing over of the bands’ seams.