The new decade is only a few months old, and already the only certainty is that certainties have ceased to exist. Yet as we traverse through new and intimidating terrain unfamiliar a short while ago, two collaborators have come together to unwittingly create a record curiously suited to an intimidating and unpredictable new era, in which both its vibrant spirit of collaboration and the uncompromising intensity of its aural assault render it life-affirming against all adversity that surrounds. ‘Deafbrick’, the multiplication sum of Säo Paulo’s sonic warriors Deafkids and London’s pulverising duo Petbrick is less a polite meeting of minds than a fiery collision whose impact and incandescence extend beyond the horizon.
The project first came to light by way of a collaboration at Roadburn Festival, which in itself was the result of the friendship between Deafkids and Petbrick’s Iggor Cavalera (also of Sepultura/Soulwax/Cavalera Conspiracy) who had met the band in Brazil. “For Roadburn we just did a few versions of our own songs but as a five piece” says Petbrick’s Wayne Adams (also of Big Lad/Death Pedals). “We had so much fun doing the collab and there was a real chemistry between the five of us, so it seemed like a natural progression to actually get into a studio together and write a record.”
“After we saw how cool our connection was, we decided to go for a complete three days of total exchange of ideas in the studio, without limitations or preconceptions. Total freedom.” relates Iggor. Indeed, ‘Deafbrick’ is manifestly both a record audibly alive with the sparks of ideas coalescing in real time, yet also a fierce statement whose confidence and coherence belies its spontaneous origins. “We managed to pull together 80% of the record in three days” notes Wayne. “Deafkids where over for a show so we managed to carve out a bit of time in all our diaries and jumped in. It was an amazing session - everyone was on top form and the creativity was flowing! I think I had done a couple of really basic electronic riffs to give us a starting point but within a couple of hours we were flying.”
The results run the gamut through a litany of uniformly invigorating audial landscapes - notably operating blithely unaware of all or any genre trappings or classifications, this is an arena where Deafkids’ appetite for lysergic punk-damaged tumult, Petbrick’s ventures into dystopian synth-driven soundscapes, and both bands’s common fearless drive into in-the-red overload can all happily engage in gladiatorial contest. From the unearthly percussive clangour of ‘Hyperkinetic Mass Disorder’ to the frenetic future-core assault of ‘Máquina Obssessivo-Compulsiva’ and from the eerie cinematic intensity of ‘The Menace Of The Dark Polar Night’ to the DHR-addled chaos of the paint-stripping ‘Mega Ritual’, every second of ‘Deafbrick’ is infused with malevolent charisma and iconoclastic élan.
Yet perhaps the ultimate destructive moment of this particular demolition derby comes via a thrilling take on Discharge’s ‘Free Speech For The Dumb’, on which Casual Nun’s Matt Ridout and Terminal Cheesecake/Luminous Bodies’ Gordon Watson join the fray for a fearsome blast of noise-driven monomaniacal nihilism curiously redolent of the early ornery joys of Shit And Shine. Not that it necessarily met the approval of Discharge themselves, who make a cameo appearance on the song’s outro. “I asked them to record some quotes saying how much they hated our version” laughs Iggor. “One of them even said that Metallica did a better job. That really freaked me out!”
Metallica, it’s fair to say objectively, do not do a better job.