Review: Deafkids & Petbrick ‘Deafbrick’

Less a meeting of the minds and more a melting of collective brains, the pairing of Brazil psych-core squad Deaf Kids and London based duo Petbrick (one half of whom being another Brazilian in the form of former Sepultura skin smasher Igor Cavalera) was never going to yield anything less than exciting results. Neither faction has a particular interest in musical boundaries beyond perhaps erasing them. Mutating from their initial collaboration at Roadburn, the conglomerate have harnessed their rambunctious sonic ooze into studio format for an album that sounds like fireworks going off inside the head of an enormous Dalek. These lads do not give a fuck about your hearing. They’re interested in raising your pulse.

Deafkids & Petbrick 'Deafbrick'

Beginning like any good space journey should, the opening Primeval I is like a musical portrait of mission control preparing a rocket for takeoff, building tension and expectation as the immensity of the operation at hand sinks in. When the good ship Deafbrick launches skyward on the aptly named electronics and D-beat attack of Força Bruta, it’s as exhilarating as you’d hope. It feels like a modern re-tooling of the kind of adrenalin boosting industrial/metal bomb blast that late 80s Ministry excelled at (think Flashback). But this is just the start, not the template. Sure, Mega-ritual later in the album expertly treads that similar electric fence where the hardcore punk spirit collides with the synthetic elements in a fine alchemy, but the pairing stretch into all kinds of twilight zones over the course of the ten tracks.

Driving that fearless exploration you’ll often find rhythm. At their most frenzied the unit sync together to feel less like a band and more like one giant percussion instrument pounding against your chest; take Máquina Obssessivo-Compulsiva as an example. It’s the sound of a stack of gabber 12″s being melted down in a bonfire and used to make a missile. You can hear the faint trace of drum n bass and jungle in the flittering snares, but it’s clearly filtered through an absolute nest of barbed wire on a track like Sweat-Drenched Wreck .

However rather than simply pummel for the whole album, it’s the utilisation of percussion as texture, rather than simple battery that’s special. The Menace Of The Dark Polar Night lets the oscillators run rampant in the background, while a very 70s combination of synth and spoken text create the kind of spookiness an old Coffin Joe movie might, before the whole thing melts down again.

the conglomerate have harnessed their rambunctious sonic ooze into studio format for an album that sounds like fireworks going off inside the head of an enormous Dalek…

O Antropoceno is a droney piece that’s built around, what I’d hazard a guess are some form of hand drums, which are played with more care and restraint than you might expect. Hyperkinetic Mass Disorder is almost entirely made up of metallic percussion distantly swaying, resonating rather than clanging, and sounds like it was recorded on the moon. In the latter of these two pieces it’s easy to close your eyes and picture alien landscapes. They feel like beats transmitted from the edge of night somewhere, after the headrush of the earlier bangers have faded into the ether.

It all comes to a head on the weirdest Discharge cover you’ve ever heard. A lysergic bludgeon of a thing. their version of Free Speech For The Dumb ends with a hilarious (and hopefully jovial) tirade of abuse from Stoke’s own themselves. It’s a bizarre climax but given how surreal the rest of the album feels, it’s not entirely out of place.

Is this a one off? One would hope not. This kinetic pairing have produced one of the most propulsive, surprising records I’ve heard this year, sounding somehow like their individual respective works and not at all like their individual respective works simultaneously. Collaborations have thrown up plenty of innovative work in the heavy music world of late (one need only look at The Body or Mike Patton’s continuous outsourcing for two other very recent examples off the top of my head), and my feeling is that it’ll continue to do so. If this proves to be a once off, it’s a fantastic snapshot of two eclectic creative entities blending perfectly, but fingers crossed we may see a continued evolution under the Deafbrick moniker for a while yet.

Label: Rocket Recordings
Deafkids: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram
Petbrick: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Jamie Grimes