Perhaps every band has something they were born to do, something that for one reason or another they became better at than everybody else. For Deerhoof that something started early. By the late 90s, their shows were already Bay Area legend: flailing limbs, shattered instruments, and at the center of it all, the image of Satomi dancing around in a bear suit, singing barely audible melodies into a toy microphone. There was sweat, sweat and more sweat. Songs were merely an excuse to get onstage. Who’s that insane monster of a drummer? Why does he refuse to play a straight beat? And why doesn’t the guitar have any strings on it?
As anyone who’s seen them in concert lately will tell you, when Deerhoof plugs in, the beast comes to life. “But where is the live album?” That’s the question the band gets more than any other at the merch table. Last December, Japanese fans were treated to a borderline unheard of 13-date tour spanning the length of their small country. On one special night, the band took to the bandstand in a tiny Tokyo club while the tape was rolling.
The result is Fever 121614, an official Record Store Day Black Friday release. With gems from throughout the band’s ridiculously deep back catalog, the 12-song collection that appears on both the LP and the video is Deerhoof at their rawest.