Is it the English language or humans in general who are lazy? I mean, I know I sure am, but being an only English speaker, I question if it’s a human laziness thing or just my language who says, “we combined two things but fuck thinking up a new word for it, we’ll just combine the words for each as well.” Terms like mockumentary, Kimye, stranglewank… you get the idea. This same shortcut is exactly what has been done for the name DEAFBRICK, the collaborative effort between Brazil’s DEAFKIDS and London duo PETBRICK. Although the name may be a lazy slap-together of both parties, the album clearly has more creativity put into it.
For some background, PETBRICK features founding Sepultura and Cavalera Conspiracy drummer Iggor Cavalera and electronic music producer Wayne Adams while DEAFKIDS is a relatively young act that has received very high acclaim for experimentation in raw punk, D-beat, and polyrhythmic percussion and the album was provided to me with the genre as noise synth. However, my first impressions of the album were more liken to hearing AKA Psalm 69 by Ministry for the first time, if it was somehow mixed with Sepultura’s Roots. The album starts with “Primeval I,” an atmospheric, instrumental build focusing on the tribal rhythm of the drums before exploding into the chaotic soundscape “Força Bruta” with its electronic percussion, fuzzed-out guitars, reverbed vocals, and almost industrial feel a la KMFDM.
As the album progresses, it seems to move away from sounding as industrial as I initially thought to more “industrial adjacent” like acts such as Lard or Nailbomb (which is primarily Iggor’s brother Max’s project, but Iggor has drummed live a few times). This is because the gabber & glitch electronic influences from PETBRICK sometimes show some restraint and focus on creating atmospheres based on the rhythms created through analog drumming to create a real flow for the album. Rather than taking an onslaught of aggression or breakbeats, the album gives some respite in tracks like “O Antropoceno” and “Hyperkinetic Mass Disorder” but then makes up for that by doubling the attack with in-your-face, caustic bangers like “Mega-Ritual” or the seven and a half minute (!!!) cover of Discharge’s “Free Speech For The Dumb”.
That ebb and flow between aggression and atmosphere with a focus on rhythms solidifies the collaboration. A friend of mine always used to say, “quality songwriting should take you on a journey,” which is clearly what this does. Granted, it’s a journey filled with entrancing soundscapes that have noise-laden traps of relentless aural assaults every few steps, but what fun is any trip without a little danger and the surprise of the unexpected, am I right?
Written by Ted Berger
*Edited by Dominic Abate