Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars)
ESSENTIAL "Eaguru Guru"
Once a bizarrely unpredictable noise-rock outfit, Deerhoof has slowly developed into the Woody Allen of experimental indie rock. The band kicked out an album a year since 2000 and has stuck to its distinguishing tools -- off-center guitar harmonies and the irreverent coo of singer Satomi Matsuzaka -- to eek out an endlessly unfolding but dependable identity. There are no "eureka" moments on "Offend Maggie" but plenty of small epiphanies. The group continues down the slightly mellower path it found itself on last year's "Friend Opportunity" throughout a lot of shuffling sidewalk jams and atonal takes on '70s road-trip funk. Things remain sparse here, often hinging delicate chord-play and Greg Saunier's sputtering drums. The centerpiece is "Eaguru Guru," a whirlwind of counterpoint organ and guitar that moves through countless shades of disorienting color. The song ratchets through tonal shifts and inflections like someone is gently turning some dials in some dark editing booth. It's these micromanaged moments that continue to impress. [Matt Parish]
Deerhoof plays at the Middle East Downstairs on Thursday.