Deerhoof’s 13th album marks their 20 year anniversary as a band, these last 20 years have been filled with bright, intelligent, and idiosyncratic pop and rock music. For a band that has been around for two decades, it’s surprising to see that this band still sounds like it could be a young up-and-coming band. This album is still distinctively weird, but at the same it has some of their most straight-up accessible songs to date. If this album would be your first experience to Deerhoof; it would be brilliant one to ease you into them.
Where their last album leaned heavily on synths this album has gone back to their more punky sound for the most part. The song ‘No Exit’ has one of the most distorted guitar tones they’ve ever put on record as well absolutely screeching leads. They do have some bubblegum pop moments on here but they’re still brilliantly odd. Their percussion always offers up pieces that pack a hard punch while still sounding brilliantly organised and complex. This music has so much groove at times in that they’ve organised their instrumentation so well; this band have always had a real chemistry that is hard to find in a lot of bands. Lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s lyrics are fantastically wonky and nonsensical on here like on the track ‘Last Fad’ which features lines like ‘Baseball is canceled/ ET is running late’ sung in the most sickly sweet way possible.
‘La Isla Bonita’ finds Deerhoof giving fans a record that sounds pretty much like they always have; yet none of the formulas feel dated or uninspired which is always great to see a band doing 13 albums in.