Some of the most challenging, interesting avant-rock we've heard in a long long time. The trio of Satomi Matsuzaki, John Dieterich and Greg Saunier are old school; you can hear in their music the lessons they learned from vintage Bay Area weirdos like Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and Caroliner, and from the famously avant garde Mills College music program -- all of which have resulted in a great, eccentric band whose aesthetic is fully formed, mature and confident. Satomi's light, singsong vocal delivery (similar to Boredoms' Yoshimi, Blonde Redhead, Yoko Ono) careens from stereo left to stereo right, a dose of melody and almost j-pop sweetness that plays perfectly against the macabre repeating guitar lines and the great, unpredictable, muscular drumming. Sudden stops and starts punctuate eight minute songs against one minute collages of noisy audio squiggles. Much like the Thinking Fellers did, Deerhoof juxtaposes melodic passages against weighty, distorted guitar a la Sonic Youth; they rarely descend to all-too-easy verse/chorus/verse trad songwriting, yet amazingly enough they are quite accessible. Experimental music that everyone can enjoy. (Aquarius Records.)