Deerhoof are building to the release of their new album Actually, You Can in October, and with the first single from it, “Department of Corrections”, they took on the prison industrial complex. Today they follow it up with “Plant Thief”, an equally boisterous protest song which they say“is a rage rock song responding to a patriarchal world that leeches off of unpaid caring labour and matriarchal knowledge.”
While they’ve always been extremely technically proficient, this new brand of ‘rage rock’ allows Deerhoof to show off their skills in even more thrilling and dynamic ways. While the anger is bubbling away throughout “Plant Thief”, Deerhoof keep it contained to start, as Satomi Matsuzaki describes sitting for a portrait and spirals from there into observations of patriarchal inequality. Greg Saunier’s drumming is fast and furious, but as the band doubles down with muscular riffs to emphasise their anger, his performance gets even more determined as he leads the thrashing charge to its pulverising finale. A song that transmits fury without losing any of Deerhoof’s usual playful charm, “Plant Thief” is further proof that, even on their 16th album, they’ve still got plenty to prove.
The video for “Plant Thief” was created by animator Molly Fairhurst, who says: “Sometimes when you are hurt, so much you could dissolve into ink, nothing can stop your shaking atoms other than being swallowed whole into the dark. Sometimes a giant bird will be there, just in time to do that. Satomi’s verse penned a story in my head and I let the thrashing guitars and drums carry me away over the spikes and deep falls. Pulling and falling and tripping I did what I could to match the musical tensions.”
Watch the clip below or find “Plant Thief” on streaming platforms.