Deerhoof discs work with a certain childlike logic, you could say: having no distinction between fantasy and reality, being beholden to capriciousness, and swinging between the ultra-loving and the unbelievably vicious. At seven years of age, Deerhoof are currently at the stage where they're pulling wings off insects and cooking ants under magnifying glass, the combo's contrast being between the meanness of the Deerhoof boys and the sweetness of Satomi Matsuzaki, the band's girl-with-the-curl. And, well, without wishing to run with a metaphor for, like, far too fucking far, at seven years of age and seven albums' vintage, Deerhoof are also starting to get a greater grasp on their musical motor skills, the combo controlling those mingled limbs that once flailed wildly into the wilds of autistic artistic weirdness. After starting out as ad-hoc experimenteurs bashing at their instruments with the subtlety of infants at play, passing records have found Deerhoof honing such a whacking, wacky craft. This culminated, last year, with their last longplayer Apple O', which found them forgetting the clag-fingered cut-and-paste collage and just being a band, one bashing at about half the instruments that'd turned up in the headscratcher opus Reveille, now knocking out some of the straightest pop-songs they'd hit since their second record Holdypaws. Not coincidentally, this friendly foray into musical playtime found the band making a pile of new friends; Apple O''s eventual success coming close to copping the phrase "crossover." Coming right on a year on, Milk Man is the first Deerhoof disc to be officially classed as a "follow-up," and it again finds the band managing to behave a little better. All Deerhoof's trademarks are here short attention spans, spastic rhythms, erratic tangents, stumbling drums, fuzzy guitars, and silly lyrics again making a money-shot contrast between aggressive guitars and Satomi's sing-song singing. But, for the first time, Milk Man finds such a sound seeming not like the product of a collective caprice, but a formula that they're following, with the few songs where they get lost in total tonal abstraction seeming like didactic decisions to ditch the rock instruments and remind everyone they were once filed under difficult listening.