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The Runners Four CD

2 customer reviews

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Amazon's Deerhoof Store


Image of album by Deerhoof


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By turns cuddly and chaotic, San Francisco's Deerhoof mix noise, sugary melodies, and an experimental spirit into sweetly challenging and utterly distinctive music. The group began as the brainchild of guitarist Rob Fisk and drummer/keyboardist Greg Saunier in 1994; early releases, such as the 1995 7"s Return of the Woods M'Lady and For Those of Us on Foot, had a more ... Read more in Amazon's Deerhoof Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Oct. 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: All Tomorrows Parties
  • ASIN: B000BJ7C6U
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,197 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Chatterboxes 2:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
  2. Twin Killers 2:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
  3. Running Thoughts 3:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
  4. Vivid Cheek Love Song 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
  5. O'Malley, Former Underdog 2:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
  6. Odyssey 2:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
  7. Wrong Time Capsule 2:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
  8. Spirit Ditties Of No Tone 4:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
  9. Scream Team 2:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
10. You Can See 3:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
11. Midnight Bicycle Mystery 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
12. After Me The Deluge 3:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
13. Siriustar 4:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
14. Lemon and Little Lemon 2:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
15. Lightning Rod, Run 2:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
16. Bone-Dry 2:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
17. News From A Bird 1:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
18. Spy On You 2:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
19. You're Our Two 2:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
20. Rrrrrrright 3:57£0.79  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nitrous McBread on 21 Oct. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Just like the best band in the world, Melt Banana, did around the time of their stunning "Teeny Shiny" album, Deerhoof have finally jettisoned their kick-it-to-bits-and-selotape-it-back-together approach to songwriting and for once produced a brilliantly coherent collection of songs. This is the sound of a band channelling the spirit of the Magic Band, the Beach Boys, a mummified puffin and a seedless grape whilst still remaining very much on their own planet, hooray! For once I can listen to a Deerhoof album without getting that sudden falling-off-a-bike, shudder-to-a-halt feeling I get occasionally when I'm drifting off to sleep. These fruitcakes have suddenly got very, very good at what they do and you will delight in catchy tune after catchy tune - yea, even in their melodies shall you hear melodies. Hearing this album made me feel like a dog who goes up a mountain to find a bone and comes back down having found lasting spiritual fulfillment.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jr Arguile on 27 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
It is chronic problem; albums that are too long or have too many songs on them. This album, especially the first half (which is still ten songs!) is amazing, tracks eight and nine being particularly incredible, however apart from the crazy final song, i can't help but feel it drags on for a bit too long. It's actually just under an hour, but it feels like longer, and after a while deerhoof's particular disjointed style becomes a little wearing, and it is difficult to maintain that sense of bedazzled wonderment that you felt when you first put it on. But that's actually the only problem. Musically, this album is brilliant, and sometimes absolutely amazing. It is produced perfectly. The guitar sounds are wicked, and the dodgy rhythmic patterns are wonderful. And despite the harsh sound, insane playing and bizarre time signatures the songs are for the most part suprisingly catchy, in fact very catchy. The absurdly high pitched vocals sing melodies I cannot believe exist, but they do! Deerhoof have a very original sound that is impossible to resist, although I must say you are quite glad when the album ends.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Deerhoof coming into their own as a band, but too much filler- 4.25 stars 7 Jan. 2006
By Christopher Bowers - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have only recently started listening to this band- beginning with 'Apple O' then 'Milkman' and now 'The Runners Four,' and I have to say in certain ways they have improved with each of these albums as a band. As far as the overall quality of each of these albums as a whole- they are about equal, but have different feels to them. From my perspective Deerhoof has really been able to hone their sound as a band with each album, but without falling into that trap of becoming 'mature-sounding,' (i.e. boring and lacking passion and creativity) (Sorry Lou Barlow and Super Furry Animals - Britt Daniels??)

'Apple O' has really good energy, is cohesive as a whole, and some really good rockin songs, but seemed to be a little one dimensional (sound and approach-wise). This becomes more apparent when I listened to 'Milkman' and 'the Runners four'- this band could really expand their approach (and sound) and benefit from it in some ways.

With 'Milkman' Deerhoof seem to add more songs that focused on a pop approach (pop as a relative term)- adding keyboards and an occasional straightforward song alongside songs that rock. An uneven, but equally good album.

With "The Runners Four" Deerhoof further this trend, in some songs sounding like a band in its prime with a great combination of energy, rock, melody and Deerhoof quirkiness. The experimentation is still there- they are not getting boring- and there are many songs that still rock and /or are catchy as hell (SIRIUSTAR, Runningthoughts, Spirit Ditties, You can See, Lightning rod, Rrrright)
Unfortunately this album is also a lot longer than their previous albums, with some 'filler' which weighs down the album. I'd say they could have dropped about 5-6 songs and had a real masterpiece. I rarely complain about artists having some mediocre songs but for some reason in this instance it really detracts from listening to the rest. (yeah I'm also talking to you too Robert Pollard and the entire hip-hop genre) I think it would have been a 5 star album in my book if it werent for the length.

I apologize, but let me finish by commenting on "reviewers."
Too many of the people who write reviews are either haters (see Harry Wang's review) or borderline-groupies. I think its important to really comment on the quality of the music relative to the band's previous work and whats out there (analogy applies to other products as well). A look at a guy like Harry Wang, and you'll see he gives 1 star to most of his reviews (but the village people, an important exception, get 5 stars)- This is not helpful to anyone, and is a waste of everyone's time. The reviews by the groupies arent that helpful either, but at least they are trying to be helpful. There are too many 5 star (I am guilty) and 1 star reviews which are often not helpful. Lets have a little nuance folks.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
My Turn 16 July 2006
By someguy - Published on
Format: Audio CD
My first introduction to Deerhoof was getting Apple O' from the library and popping it into my car stereo. After about a song and a half I had had enough and pushed the eject button. I'm always trying to explore into different challenging types of music, but this was too much.

For some reason, that album beckoned me to revisit it and give it another chance. I'm glad I did, because once I got past the utter chaos, high-pitched girl vocals, and seemingly directionless arrangements, I was able to appreciate the melodies, tight chemistry between the players (especially the drumming), and charm that was sitting there underneath everything else.

I think this is where I had an advantage over many of the one-star reviewers of "The Runners Four." I was already prepared for what was coming, and I had a foundation from which to judge this album.

Initially my first thought was that this album was much more subdued and expansive than Apple O'. It is, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The comparison that comes to mind is Modest Mouse and the jump from "Lonesome Crowded West" to "The Moon and Antarctica." The former has just so much energy and is so fun to listen to, whereas the latter is much more layered and takes many more twists and turns, making for an extremely rewarding listen, even if not as immediately satisfying.

"The Runners Four" starts with a very minimalist guitar and vocal duet, then kicks into gear with one of my favorite songs on the album, "Twin Killers." The next song, "Running Thoughts" defines the album to me. The chaos and utter disregard for convention are still there, but with a meditative quality replacing the youthful jubilence of prior albums. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of moments of innocent bliss on "Runners", but they are spotted in between a more evolved and seasoned version of Deerhoof.

I can completely sympothize with those who would rather inflict physical harm than listen to Deerhoof - I was once there. But the ones who never come back to give it a second chance are missing out on one of the best bands of the millenium thus far, which is truly a shame.

I've become obsessed with this band.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Tired of challenging us, they challenge themselves 13 Feb. 2008
By Matthew T. Medlock - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Even though their songs are almost always between two and three minutes, Deerhoof goes for epic on "The Runners Four," collecting twenty songs and squeezing them into a package that runs just under an hour (their last two albums combined isn't much longer than that). It allows for greater range of freedom and more experiments...and a few failures. This is a band that had always been an acquired taste, but forcing us to acquire even newer tastes? At least the group acknowledges its limitations and then says forget it, let's go for it anyway. Brave, and sometimes rewarding.

Deerhoof is better served in smaller doses than larger ones, even after they settled down a bit from their earlier, more hectic days. Like a lot of long tracklist albums (They Might Be Giant's "Flood," more than one Beastie Boys record, countless punk albums, etc.) the band runs out of steam before the end--but instead of regurgitating more of the same, they keep throwing everything they've got at us and hoping it sticks. For the first eleven to thriteen tracks, there's rarely a misstep (opener "Chatterboxes" is merely okay, "Odyssey" is rather turgid), but after that, it's pretty uneven. Maybe it's too exhausting; even for a pop band, Deerhoof can be pretty intense (check out the sweaty and squealing "Scream Team" and the noisy squalor of "Midnight Bicylce Mystery"). But three-fourths of a great album is what we've come to expect from this band, and the individual moments on this one shine brighter than almost anything on their last two.

Best cuts: "Twin Killers," "Vivid Cheek Love Song," "Running Thoughts," "Spirit Ditties of No Tone," "O'Malley, Former Underdog," "Scream Team," "Siriustar," "Midnight Bicycle Mystery," "Wrong Time Capsule," "You Can See," "Rrrrrright," "Spy on You," "Lightning Rod, Run," "After Me the Deluge"
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
much different than the others, but still a lot of fun... 15 Dec. 2005
By will owens - Published on
Format: Audio CD
if you prefer your rock a little poppier than sabbath (say early cardigans or stereolab), you'll enjoy this album more than deerhoof's previous work. this features less bonham bash and more 60s jangle. and more keys. but if you enjoy the darker, crunchier, and catchier attacks of pixies or melvins, you're better off going with 'half bird' or 'reveille.' (those two have some nice quiet dynamics as well.) here, that harder, more emotional sound only reveals itself once, on the track 'scream team.' but this is a great album and fits nicely into their catalogue. actually, their only release i don't listen to much is 'the man the king the girl,' the least melodic of the bunch. live, they're even more fun -- really jazzy, hard and incredibly tight. and so entertaining, it's difficult to stop grinning while watching Satomi and co. smartly mix this unique version of drama, dissonant jazz and rock.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
They were called the Runners Four. 14 Dec. 2005
By D. Gladden - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wow, apparently a lot of indie snobs like Deerhoof. Here they are giving the album 5 stars, and they can't even write a positive review about it. The Runners Four is a piece of art. Everything from the cover art to the Japanese voice makes me think of Katamari Damacy, that gorgeously insane video game. The best way to describe The Runners Four is that it's like their live show - you have no idea what to expect, but they know exactly what is coming next. This is an extremely tight record, while at the same time some of it approaches freeform jazz. They accomplish this while inventing new guitar chords and time signatures. How dare these people accuse Deerhoof of sticking to a song format? This is their most complete album yet, and it is exactly what they want it to be - their masterpiece. Listen to it at least 17 times.
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