Given the fact that they boast five guitarists and bassists, your first thought might be that Deafcult packs a real sonic punch — and you’d be right. The Brisbane sextet’s brand of shoegazer noise is simply massive in all the right ways, and even punishing at times (e.g., “B to A,” “Heathen Flow”). But just as important as their distortion-and-feedback onslaught is Deafcult’s sense of balance and economy. Only one song on this self-titled debut passes the four-minute mark; the majority of its seven songs hover right around three minutes.
With only a couple of exceptions, Deafcult’s songs explode out of the gate; the band removes all restraints and goes for broke. That sort of recklessness gives the music a youthful, almost punk-like energy that is both invigorating and endearing — and given the songs’ short lengths, immediate. You get the sense that Deafcult’s members love making this music, and they love making it as loud and raucous as possible.
“Akira” is one of the best examples of this. The band has the sort of detached male/female harmonies that all good shoegazer bands ought to have, and they’re almost entirely buried under pummeling drums and four (or more) layers of guitar spitting out riffs, crescendos, and howling feedback galore. And then, just when you think the song couldn’t get any more saturated, Deafcult takes it up another notch or three in the final stretch.
Deafcult are currently working on a follow-up record; if they can maintain the level of energy and enthusiasm that is present on Deafcult, then it’ll definitely be something that all good shoegazer fans should add to their collection. In the meantime, those same fans would do well to download a (free!) copy of this firecracker debut.