Not Pain, But Pleasure: Deaf Wish Did It Again

Not Pain, But Pleasure: Deaf Wish Did It Again

Adriana SaboTuesday,11 August 2015

What is it that makes one band stand out from the mass? In today’s context of web 2.0, when literally anyone with a computer and an internet connection can make and publish music, what is the thing that makes us listen to this band and skip that one? Well, so many things and nothing in particular is probably the correct answer. Quality music, an interesting name, creative artwork are some of the must-haves, of course. When it comes to Deaf Wish, all items on the list are there, but what attracted me to start following their work was the fact that they were never pretentious. There is something in their music that says “We will do this for as long as we enjoy it, no matter what people think.” It turned out that people loved them and recently, they released their fourth album, Pain, through Sub Pop, which describes them perfectly: “When Deaf Wish found themselves in a room together for the very first time, they agreed on a guiding philosophy: ‘Let’s not make anything that’s going to last. If we’re together for just two shows, then that’s what it is.'”

The way I see it, this Melbourne quartet — Nick Pratt (bass), Daniel Twomey (drums), Sarah Hardiman and Jensen Tjhung (guitars), with each of them singing as well — offers the audience something that we don’t find a lot: just music. They don’t promise us the world, or the revolution. They never say they want to make us feel their pain or their happiness. Deaf Wish offers us simple, amazing alternative rock, with just enough of punk and freak rock to make you listen to the whole album in one breath.

It opens with “The Whip,” a track comprised out of repetitive chords and words sung in an emotionless, flat voice that can send chills down your spine. “Newness again” releases the energy and the punks inside Deaf Wish, turning the course of Pain  in a completely unexpected direction. Yet the freak-iness is still there, with riffs that sound just a bit disjointed. Just enough to move you away from your comfort zone. “They Know” continues in the same manner, while “Sunset’s Fool” changes the pace again, being a bit slower and “more alternative” (if there is even such a thing). “Eyes Closed” and “Pain” bring back the somewhat raw sound as the influence of Iggy Pop becomes undeniable (not that it can be denied from the start, in the voice of Tjhung, while we are on the subject). Hardiman’s voice on “Sex Witch” brings the uneasiness back in the picture, while “On” moves closer to the sound of pop. As Hardiman speaks “In my hear there is only blood,” you expect another uneasy, slow track, yet “Dead Air” turns out to be a six-minute track raging with distortion and aggressive guitar riffs, introducing noise to Deaf Wish’s unique mix of genres. “Calypso,” the closing tack, lowers the emotions once more, making a peaceful and dreamy ending to this roller coaster of an album.

Pain can be described in many different ways. But the most prominent thing about the album is the fact that each track shows different side of the band, depending on who is singing. It is as if Pain introduces each band member to the listener, it is a unique mix of different emotions, musical genres and atmospheres. It must be heard.

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Hat Tips:

Bandcamp, Facebook, Rolling Stone, Image Credit: YouTube screen print

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