Deerhoof - Actually, you can CD
Over eighteen boundless albums as experimental as they are pop, Deerhoof has continuously quested for daring storytelling and radical sounds, creating a new shared language of revolution. 2020’s critically acclaimed, overwhelmingly prescient Future Teenage Cave Artists explored fairytale visions of post-apocalypse, welding intrinsic melodies with absurdist digital recording methods. Its immediate sequel Love-Lore, a live covers medley, channeled futurist mid-century artists—Parliament, Sun Ra and Stockhausen, to name a handful— into a patchwork love letter to the anti-authoritarian expressions that inspire the band. “We suddenly felt extra free and non-judgmental towards ourselves,” says drummer Greg Saunier of their audience’s enthusiastic reception to these records. Galvanized, they landed on their next record’s concept: This is Deerhoof’s ”baroque gone DIY” LP. “We wanted our own working person’s version of highbrow, with all the operatic flourishes and twinkles and sparkles,” says Saunier. Deerhoof set to scheming, using their agility, wit, and outlandishness to create this exuberant ode to unexpected growth.
Actually, You Can is a genre-abundant record that uses technicolor vibrancy and arpeggiated muscularity to offer a vital shock from capitalism’s purgatorial hold. Opener “Be Unbarred, O Ye Gates of Hell'' literally storms the barricades, interpolating a Handel aria, a Maya Angelou essay, and a Catholic homily in which Christ descends into inferno to release its captive souls. “These days, to be a moral person is to be a criminal,” clarifies Saunier of the album’s countercultural embrace of liberation. “That’s the spirit we were trying to express: an angelic, glamorous prison bust.” That glamour comes replete with thrashing twin guitar assaults from Ed Rodriguez and John Dieterich, and Saunier’s tuned-up, hyperpop-via-nu metal snare bombast. “Scarcity is Manufactured,” Actually, You Can’s thesis, flips “La Bamba'' into uncharted time signatures; Rodriguez and Dieterich shred in and out of unison at a high speed scrub while Saunier’s heavier-than-ever kit bashes in sync with Satomi Matsuzaki’s fuzzed-out bass. She sings with a candy in her mouth, “I thought it was night, but it’s day! It’s every day at once! Behold my house of light! Bankruptor of the rainbow!” It’s a condemnation of America’s mundanity, replacing the narrative of inevitable violence with the real joy that's not being talked about.
Be Unbarred, O Ye Gates of Hell (3:06)
Department of Corrections (3:22)
We Grew, and We Were Astonished (2:41)
Scarcity is Manufactured (2:53)
Ancient Mysteries, Described (3:38)
Plant Thief (3:13)
Our Philosophy Is Fiction (4:27)
Epic Love Poem (3:39)
Divine Comedy (5:17)