If the benevolent spaceship from the end of Close Encounters put on a rock concert, there’s a good bet it would sound like Deerhoof. The otherworldy avant-rock quartet has made a career out of subverting the traditional songwriting model, from their many time- and key-signature shifts to their love of dissonance. Add singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s playful, high-pitched vocals and you have a sound that is both head-banging and head-scratching.
Offend Maggie continues the group’s odd-yssey: They gleefully undercut the opening chunky riff of “The Tears of Music and Love” with a 6/4 bar (every third bar!), funk out convincingly on “Snoopy Wave,” and freak out even more convincingly on “This Is God Speaking.” Unlike previous albums, Deerhoof wrote much of Maggie outside the studio, and even road-tested it — robbing some of the improvisational spark that made their older stuff crackle with energy. After 10 albums (that’s one more than Metallica), the band may have matured, but they show no intention of settling down any time soon. There are more than three chords out there, and Deerhoof won’t rest until it finds them all.