The Runners Four

Kill Rock Stars
Reviewed by: Mike Powell
Reviewed on: 2005-10-13

Posted 10/13/2005 - 08:50:06 AM by KlausFraktal:
 I respectfully disagree!
Posted 10/13/2005 - 09:35:58 AM by nhennies:
 Thanks for this. Someone finally putting all my thoughts about this record in one convenient location.
Posted 10/13/2005 - 12:21:33 PM by PlatypusQuest:
 Oh man.... I absolutely disagree. This is, without question, one of the most vital releases of the year, and a monumental triumph for Deerhoof. Sure, it lacks the raw feel of their earlier records (though this is not necessarily a bad thing), but their sound has gotten so much BIGGER here, without sacrificing any of their originality or truncating their experimentation. It's my personal favorite album of theirs and one of my favorite albums of the year, from any genre. I would also say it's their most accessible, with the potential to attract a LOT of new admirers.
Posted 10/13/2005 - 03:57:07 PM by ckramer:
 Mike, i feel, like nhennies, that you really nailed this review on the head. Your review is very thoughtful and clear and actually helped me clarify some of the issues i was having with this record. It must be tough to be a band like deerhoof, who is so cherished, and want to open yourselves up to more fans.
Posted 10/13/2005 - 04:14:09 PM by clamsy:
 This review is exactly correct, I think. I have always liked Deerhoof in spite of the fact that they could technically be called "indie rock", and i suspect that the people who really enjoy this album always found them pleasant but at heart wanted them to be more straightforward/'accessible'. and i would have had no problem with an "indie rock" deerhoof record if the songs retained the compositional strength and ingenuity found on reveille thru milk man (green cosmos, too really)
Posted 10/13/2005 - 06:55:52 PM by KlausFraktal:
 >>and i suspect that the people who really enjoy this album always found them pleasant but at heart wanted them to be more straightforward/'accessible'.<< I suspect that you are incorrect!
Posted 10/14/2005 - 10:07:57 AM by andrewi31:
 Well as much as I loved Reveille and Apple O', they certainly didn't last a year for me. They got old really quick. But ya they were great at first. The Runners Four is much more engaging and rewarding long term for me, but I know that isn't an important criteria for Stylus writers, and that's fine. You guys have to listen to lots of stuff. This is the first record I've listened to several times a week for more than a couple of months in years. Thanks for reviewing.
Posted 10/14/2005 - 12:28:47 PM by mikepowell:
 andrewi31, no offense (seriously!) but I've been listening to this album *a lot,* I just haven't found anything to really love about it. Also, I don't think it's true that being "rewarding long term" isn't a criterion for Stylus; I think we aspire to the same standards of quality as "normal" listeners, i.e. a good album now should be good in 6 months and not just on first listen. I mean, I still listen to Apple O' and Reveille (and Milk Man for that matter), but I don't know how much of this album will stick for me in a year's time, and again, it's twice as much music, lengthwise. At any rate, it does seem like there have been serious lovers of this album, so it's all good debate.
Posted 10/14/2005 - 02:27:28 PM by andrewi31:
 Sorry, maybe I was being a bit snarky with the "long-term reward" comment. I don't really assume anything about Stylus' criterion, I know there are many different writers here with their own, perfectly valid assumptions. Maybe something about reading a glowing Liz Phair review one day, and a (what I take to be) negative review of Runners 4 the next gets me down a little bit. I won't even pretend to understand that. I've been listening to these songs for months and was hoping it would blow every reviewer to pieces.
Posted 10/16/2005 - 06:59:33 PM by PlatypusQuest:
 I agree with you Andrewi31. I also anticipated this album blowing all reviewers away... Oh well. Anyhow, The Runners Four seems so much more developed than their other albums, though it still possesses that unpredictability and playfulness that made their other albums so enjoyable. In my opinion, this is their landmark album: It's a triumph, pure and simple.
Posted 10/20/2005 - 04:20:51 AM by digitalsnake:
 Where did all the wacky energy go? Where's the excitement? The digital noise??!! This sounds like Deerhoof grown up. Don't get me wrong, it's great in places, but when you consider that Greg, one of the craziest drummers you could ever lay your eyes on, strolls through this entire record rarely breaking a sweat, you know there's something wrong.
Posted 11/05/2005 - 08:19:15 AM by HBurton:
 I bought this having heard but one song from Deerhoof (Scream Team on the radio), so comparisons to their earlier work are lost on me. That said, I found this to be a thoroughly exhilarating and innovative record, everything I've been looking for and (mostly) not finding in other bands/albums. Of course, all you hardcore Deerhoof fans can feel free to disregard the thoughts of this tender virgin. Just saying: awesome.