The fifth LP from Aussie rockers Deaf Wish also marks their second for Sub Pop after 2015’s Pain. Lithium Zion is a fun and frenzied jolt of garage-punk that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Vocal duties are shared around, which is a nice touch, and overall the thing comes off very likably indeed. Think Bikini Kill, The Scientists etc.
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Deaf Wish are churny types quite separate from that hardcore label Converge’s Jacob Bannon runs. A misnomer, but try to ignore it: rather than make blistering skramz Deaf Wish create a discordant, often nauseating kinda noise rock that trades in the angularity of Metz and listless spoken snarl. On ‘Lithium Zone’ they do quite a good job of following the Sub Pop noise protocol, offering a record that’s ultimately accessible and ethereal in spite of its rancid scent and hard edge.
Garage punks rejoice: there’s plenty of gnarled bliss to be had, like the wonderful title track, where scattershot guitars even out into a forward momentum dash of turgid progressions. Restless, the band go at the same pace on “Deep Blue Cheated”, as if transposing the song for a differently indecipherable discordance, shout-yelping over the top with a captivating disregard for melody. “Afraid for You” announces the band as riff-rousers, able to create devastated jangle a la Trust Punks. “The Rat is Back” is a slow, self-satisfied churner, its low-key strums providing a template for a kind of stumble-about-the-punk drunkness now made vintage by the Iceage boys.
A real fun listen for fans of punk that largely ignores the listener and dances around the hit points; it’s beguiling because it’s a little broken, catchy because it doesn’t care to be.
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- Lithium Zion by Deaf Wish
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