Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. This is nothing short of a monumental piece of work.
  2. It is something most indie-rock bands take a long time to achieve, if ever: a heavy footfall, a no-half-stepping opus, a defining statement. [9 Oct 2005]
  3. Interesting, unique, weird and inviting.
  4. By turns jubilant, confused, afraid, angry, sad, relieved, all pretty poignant, yes.
  5. All told, it's another triumph for a band whose creative peak seems to defy gravity with each passing year.
  6. 83
    This time they come dangerously close to conventional rock. [Nov 2005, p.101]
  7. The Runners Four may not break new ground, but Deerhoof's sense of unpredictability remains. [#11, p.106]
  8. 80
    The band use trad tools... and trad tricks... But there's nothing trad about their cock-your-head tunings and lose-your-balance rhythms. [Dec 2005, p.100]
  9. Even though the manic intensity that characterized work like Reveille is missed a little here, The Runners Four is still a far cry from typical indie rock; in fact, it sounds more like one of Deerhoof's older albums played at half-speed than anything else.
  10. The Runners Four may not come off as innovative as Reveille (2003) and Milk Man (2004) did, but the real innovation here is in making chaos sound so serene.
  11. The Runners Four manages to capture the unbridled intensity and utter joy these four carry across in a live setting.
  12. The Runners Four is simply another interesting collection of tunes from a group that refuses to curtail its trespasses across musical boundaries.
  13. In the end, however, the band's stamina outlasts our own. [11 Nov 2005, p.72]
  14. 70
    The Runners Four displays intuitive melody and a childlike disregard for convention that's captivating enough to overcome any saccharine tendencies. [Dec 2005, p.116]
  15. Deerhoof are clearly interested in extending the possibilities of the classic four-piece format.
  16. Deerhoof has forged yet another delightfully odd pop gem, multifaceted and sparkling with creativity. [Oct/Nov 2005, p.147]
  17. Somehow all of this organized chaos is put together with clever hooks, resulting in some quite unique and energetic pop/rock tunes.
  18. The band's growing gifts as songwriters put this album above so many other current releases.
  19. Despite its exhilarating moments, The Runners Four feels like it’s missing something.
  20. 40
    Four becomes truly trying during its tangent-prone second half. [#70, p.93]
  21. For the uninitiated, they churn out a joyless mess of badly tuned indie guitar, spasmodic jazz drumming and cutesy vocalisations, and on 'O'Malley, Former Underdog' they overlay this with irritating electronica that is reminiscent of the noise your discman makes when your mobile phone is in the same pocket.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 42
  2. Negative: 11 out of 42
  1. Jan 26, 2011
    This is one of the most tragically underrated albums on this site. It's a cutesy-brutesy masterwork with tons of delightfully catchy riffs and melodies counterpointed by jagged, face-melting rock-outs, often in the same song. A lot of people can't get over Satomi Matsuzaki's voice and the group's undeniable weirdness, but anyone willing to embrace Deerhoof's eccentricities will find a lot to love here. Few albums can put anyone in a good mood as effortlessly as this glorious, sprawling mess of kitschy ear candy. Full Review »
  2. ErikH
    Aug 13, 2007
    I bought this CD after many recommendations from friends and critics, and wow was I disappointed. They sound like low-rate Blonde Redhead outtakes. If that sounds appealing to you, by all means purchase this CD and enjoy 20 tracks of it. Full Review »
  3. RG
    Jun 13, 2007
    aaah deerhoof. music as we know it has taken another step to shattering itself and constructing something so basic and so exciting that everynote while meaning nothng carries a sense of purpose. i can t shed that feeling throughout this record. this group is bringing back rock not as other rock gorups do by replicating a former style but creating something playful in a new reincarnation of a former style. simply an amazing record Full Review »