DEERHOOF Everybody must get stoned. Ben Clark
Thurs Apr 14
1800 E Burnside

ELVES, SPIDER QUEENS, toads with red, velvet capes... the images conjured on Deerhoof's last full-length were fantastic, freaky, and totally on drugs. But as great as the year-old Milk Man was, what are they up to nowadays? For all intents and purposes, they're just gettin' weirder. Which is good, because the nuttier the Hoof gets, the better the ride.

Deerhoof's new EP, the Japanese-only release Green Cosmos, is more of the Milk Man formula--quiet, catchy, loopy, washed with fruity electronic spurts. The guitar riffs are catchier than Tom Petty and twice as stoned, and every bit of canned percussion sounds like wet hands patty-caking. But this time around Satomi Matsuzaki is singing in her native Japanese, so confusion and eccentricity abounds. Again: all for the better.

Eccentricity has always been the band's bread and butter--even back when they were more influenced by Sonic Youth and Yoko Ono than whatever bizarre stuff they're into now. Along with her dudes--Greg Saunier, John Dieterich and Chris Cohen being the latest lineup--she's led her circus through 10 self-produced records, which have ranged from free-noise Boredoms-worship (1997's The Man, The King, The Girl) to contained--but still crazy--garage punk (2001's Halfbird) to their recent stoned-as-shit incarnation.

Green Cosmos will be released in May on Menlo Park, but word around the campfire is they have a few copies with them on tour. Other campfire talk says a new full-length is just about finished and will be released later this year. But will it be noisy like 2003's great, vibrant, loud Apple O'? Or will it continue the pretty, languid, pysche pop of Milk Man? From the looks of Green Cosmos, and their recent live shows, all hands point to the latter. Sweet.