The new album from Deaf Wish, Lithium Zion, out on Friday via Sub Pop, is a pummeling assault on the senses. It is also, thankfully, a reminder that the label that changed the alternative rock universe can still release truly brutal music.
Opener "Easy" and the wonderfully-named "Metal Carnage" are rough and unsubtle, while "The Rat is Back" and "Ox" succeed as slow-burners. At their best, like on numbers like "Smoke", Deaf Wish manage to somehow blend the sounds of early Sonic Youth with elements of stuff like Loop's longer riff-attacks. The effect on these slower numbers is somehow more sinister than that on the compositions that rely mainly on volume for their power. Deaf Wish may be playing with just a few instruments from the sonic toolbox, but the machine they are creating here is a beast, a rampaging gargoyle of proto-grunge and garage rock.
Lithium Zion is out from Sub Pop on Friday.
More details on Deaf Wish via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Ela Stiles]