Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)
You have to hand it to the Aussie noise rock act Deaf Wish. Founded in 2007, the quartet’s created a lasting body of top flight work that could hang at the bar with anyone on the Touch and Go, Amphetamine Reptile, or Homestead rosters, yet never lapses into eyerollingly masculine “transgression” or aimless metal noodling (both stumbling blocks of contemporary noise punk). They managed to do this while going on hiatus three or so times in 11 years. If something like Lithium Zion is the result of such actions, more bands need to take more breaks.
Five albums in (this is their second for Sub Pop), and Deaf Wish seem to have little interest in shaking Sonic Youth comparisons. The quartet does love those cascading or ascending, hard-strummed octaves and unisons, not to mention singer/guitarist Jensen Tjhung’s vocals, which bear more than a passing comparison to Thurston Moore’s. Also much like Sonic Youth, every member writes and sings, and it all amalgamates perfectly. Guitarist/singer Sarah Hardiman’s rollicking “FFS,” perhaps about the strain of relationships whilst rockin’ (“I see my name up in lights / I see my name but the words are not nice… I feel like a fool / Out playing pool, hitting on you”) crashes into bassist Lee Parker’s “Metal Carnage.” Deaf Wish also know their way around a closer—“Smoke,” by drummer Daniel Twomey, sung by Twomey and Hardiman, is one of the year’s hookier indie-noise thunder-rolls. Deaf Wish remain kings of the daydream nation.