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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2008
I only recently became aware of Deerhoof, having my ears pricked up by the wonderfully frenetic "Inner Meet Me" on 6Music during the summer of 2008. I was immediately hooked and had no hesitation in purchasing the LP "Friend Opportunity" from which that tune was taken. This was 2 months ago, and I have to confess that "Friend Opportunity" has been a constant on my CD player ever since. In short, I have been utterly seduced by the twisted, stop-start rock offered up by these masters of invention.

Naturally, I had to purchase a copy of this follow-up LP, "Offend Maggie". It is an altogether more stripped down affair than its predecessor. Where "Friend" was bold and brassy with a smattering of additional instruments and a buffed up, shiny studio treatment, "Offend Maggie" consists mainly of the basics - guitar, bass 'n' drums. Immediately noticeable too is the consistent presence of acoustic guitar, adding to the rough and ready feel of this album. The whole thing sounds like it was recorded in a dusty, cobweb-strewn basement!

Of course, this is a good thing. "Offend Maggie" posesses an intimacy that the comparatively poppy "Friend..." does not have. The execution is similar - enthralling changes in tempo, catchy vocal interludes, distorted guitars bursting out of cheap amplifiers, superbly syncopated drum breaks and...of course...those child-like vocals. The presence of picked acoustic guitar also lends some of the numbers an endearing pagan quality. Pagan Punk, anyone?....... No? Why not?!

Highlights for me at the moment include the suitably bouncy "Basket Ball..." with its devilishly cheeky guitars and mentally unhinged cheerleader vocal line ("Go! Go! Champions!"). I also love "Eaguro Guro", which contains a guitar progression that can only be described as MENACING. Still, of course, this being Deerhoof, there are about a thousand different musical ideas jostling for space on this marvellous album.

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on 13 February 2015
An up and down album but so long that there's lots to discover. There's the downside of the proginess of Jagged Fruit and big pluses like The Tears of Music and Love, although from 1:40 this one seems to use the brilliant Japanese avant-garde rock singer/writer Jun Togawa's tune and phrasing for what I hope is a homage. The vocal is far weaker than the yearning, heart-rending emotion and dignity of Togawa's reading though. The song I'm thinking of is on a Yapoos album, but the greatest Jun Togawa release is Tamahime-sama from 1984. A magnificent avant-garde pop voice she has on this.
As for Deerhoof and Offend Maggie, the album isn't as good as the concentrated excellent of Togawa's release, but is pretty damn special anyhow. I still have heaps to discover although sometimes this one can be off-puttingly proggy.
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on 6 January 2010
If you think of poor production qualities as a prerequisite part of the Deerhoof package, then this album may offend you.

If, however, you enjoyed Friend Opportunity as much as I did, then Offend Maggie is worth a listen. Actually, screw it - buy the bleeding thing.

Manages to slip in and out of genres within single songs, and falls somewhere between the clean-cut mellow of Friend Opportunity and some of the more powerful moments of The Runners Four. Track Freshborn sees the 'hoof reach their most childlike vocals yet... if you like that sort of thing. Other highlights include the oh-so-catchy (dare I say that about Deerhoof?) Snoopy Waves, and the warm-rain thunderstorm that is Numina O.

Seriously if you don't like Chandelier Searchlight you'll get a coal in your stocking next Crimbo. No jokes.
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on 24 October 2008
if you're like me - you like deerhoof but sometimes you wish theyd take those 20 second sections of songs that are totally brilliant and create something more substantial with it - then this is the album youve always wanted them to make. its less experimental and more like, dare i say it, a pop album. but its totally ace. dont get me wrong i love most deerhoof albums but sometimes would get frustrated because there a genius riff and chord progression that you hear once then its gone and this album seems to expand these riffs and create more traditional songs while still maintaning the true deerhoof sounds, and they have two guitarists on this album which means, well i means good things are happening. enjoy
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on 6 April 2011
There have been complaints from some that this is less experimental than usual usual. Though they are a band that like to try new things, here they are less avante garde and offer an album of very melodic, catchy pop rock tunes that are very difficult to get out of your head. I don't mind them trying this, it's different from what they normally do and I think it's important they keep trying to be different even from their own previous work. This album is full of fantastic songs, it's only weak spot being 'basket ball' which I didn't like at all. However, yes i'm still giving it five star because I genuinely love it- turn this album up loud and proud- her voice is fantastic and gives the songs such sublime atmosphere and there are some fantastic riffs that force your head to nod in a rocking motion. The album is made by Satima's beautiful voice- her soft singing before a massive guitar wave bursts through is fantastic, an absolute joy. This album is more heavy pop rock that their other albums but I don't see that as a problem, they are a diverse band and this offering is different from their other, personally I think it's great.
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on 29 September 2008
This is a terrible, terrible album.

And I have no agenda in writing that - I wrote a 5-star review for "The Runners Four" and was almost as impressed by their most recent album too. The bitter truth is that in this case they sound directionless, limp, uninspired and deeply boring.

"Offend Maggie" has jettisoned the danger, the charm, the energy and the delightful skip-along hooks of previous releases in favour of sludgy, sketchy, forgettable stagnation. I tried so hard to like this album, but after a few listens, instead of itching to put it on again, I find myself wanting to put it in a drawer and never play it again - and hoping with all my might this is just a temporary blip.
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