One punk institution salutes another as noise rock legends Deerhoof have covered fellow American indie rock heroes Sleater-Kinney’s song ‘Don’t Talk Like’.
The cover comes as a part of the 30th-anniversary celebration of the independent label Kill Rock Stars. KRS was once home to the highly prolific Deerhoof, and they are as essential to the success of the label as more highly-touted names like Bikini Kill, Elliot Smith, and, yes, Sleater-Kinney.
‘Don’t Talk Like’ was originally featured on Sleater-Kinney’s 1999 album The Hot Rock, a release that found the trio searching for new sounds beyond their initial inclinations towards the brow-beating punk rock. ‘Don’t Talk Like’ is more spacey and sparse than the band’s previous reliance on creating cymbals and distorted guitars, and Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki celebrates that change of tone by creating a swirl of percussion and guitar textures to push the song’s intensity to a feverish new height.
“KRS has an enormous catalogue,” Deerhoof explained about covering ‘Don’t Talk Like’. “How do you choose? Something about the Sleater-Kinney song though, we had to try it. We wanted to celebrate one of these magic moments when they sounded like they didn’t quite know what they were doing…when emotions were revelations, and dissonances collided in some mystery universe between intention and accident.”
The song also appears on a new EP from the band entitled Deerhoof Sandwich which includes two covers performed by Deerhoof (the aforementioned ‘Don’t Talk Like’ plus LiliPUT’s ‘Hitch-hike’) bookending four Deerhoof songs performed by artists like Wilco’s Nels Cline, Shaylee, Shutups, and Death Cab for Cutie’s Dave Depper.
“[They] freaked me out when I first heard them and they still kind of do,” Depper explains about Deerhoof’s appeal. “[It’s] lightning-in-a-bottle kind of music, simultaneously so random and chaotic yet deeply composed and expertly played. It really shouldn’t work but nearly always does.”
Check out the audio for Deerhoof’s cover of ‘Don’t Talk Like’ down below.