The Deaf
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The Deaf

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DEAF, THE:
This Bunny Bites: CD
Sometimes I crave the sound of bands like Helmet, Unsane, or Refused, so I was thrilled with The Deaf. Like the aforementioned bands, The Deaf delivers the hard and heavy goods without ever boring me with meandering metal riffs. The music is solid, and even more exciting is when Stephanie takes the lead vocals. This band really does it for me on those levels and I appreciate the fact that they exist. –Susan Chung (Learning Curve) - Razorcake


Sounding somewhat like Karp/Big Business reinventing alt-rock/noise rock classics with Floor's guitar tone, St. Paul's The Deaf, a male/female fronted power trio, comes off like an artifact of the early '90s dressed in stoner rock/sludge’s recognizable traits. Ripping through fourteen tracks in twenty-six minutes on their debut, This Bunny Bites travels back to an age where the influence of Sonic Youth started to show itself in other genres. In addition, there's a bit of riot grrrl punk (not lyrically, but musically) and a bit of Touch and Go’s other pigfucker bands, sped up and wrapped up in a sonic exterior that will satisfy anyone that likes to feel deep guitar tones deep in their gut.

Not quite punk, not quite noise rock, not quite stoner, The Deaf deftly defy easy categorization, but not in a way that renders their material unfamiliar. It almost seems like the band revels in providing you a glimpse of their influences. “Into the Fire”'s sludgy, stoned out groove is punctured by male vocalist David Safar's “Song 2” waaahooo. “Ready to Die”'s beginning sounds scarily like Thurston Moore writing for Queens of the Stone Age. These snapshots, while clever, never get in the way of what the band is all about: weighty riffs in short songs.

Nearly all of This Bunny Bites's tracks are under two minutes. They kind of share the same philosophy of early Wire; do just enough and if the song doesn’t need anything more, why force it in? But, there's a sense that some of these tracks could’ve been fleshed out, could’ve been more than just strung together bridges, without losing their pacing. It creates one of the classic problems that plague bands with short songs: by the middle of the album you feel like you’ve heard everything they have to offer. It's no surprise, then, that the second half drags and feels a lot longer than it should. Even with some bowel-massaging low end grooves that get the head bobbing, the build-up becomes predictable and the songs lose steam because of it.

Although it's only twenty-six minutes, it's hard to listen to This Bunny Bites as a whole. The songs function better as separate entities than as a cohesive album. Consider them mixtape-ready instead of album-ready. Still, harsh criticisms aside, I have to admit that The Deaf are a lot of fun. This Bunny Bites is an enjoyable way to relive past moments in alt-rock, noise rock, indie, etc. by tuning low and turning up to eleven. You could almost say that The Deaf is a product of indie's recent interest in the heavier-than-two-tons-o'-bad-ass riffing that has been stoner rock’s stock and trade forever, but that would be selling them short and ignoring how much of a good time they must be at the local club on a Saturday night. They’re some slack motherfuckers grooving it up and, while the songs aren’t quite there yet, The Deaf are worth keeping an eye on.
- Metalreviews.com


Blasting the volume and cutting the lyrics to a handful of words seems retrograde in these days when so many bands are embracing their inner maximalist. But somehow the Deaf manage to squeeze a hell of a lot of weirdness, mystery, and fabric-rippling volume into 26.4 minutes' worth of terse songs on their debut, This Bunny Bites.

The St. Paul trio filters and distills gleanings from grindcore, metal, and post-punk into down-tuned, buzzing riffs resembling the world's largest wood chipper snacking on sequoias. Their lyrics are at their best when they sound like overheard bits of bar-room bathos—"I love you so much, but you're going nowhere," drummer Jack Kalyuzhny sings flatly. Or when the singer treads the fine line between not- and batshit-crazy: "Hello pocket change, my TV's not paid for," grumbles bassist Stephanie Budge.

The best song on the disc, "Ready to Die," gains a lot by not having the words drowned out by the band's loudness—the effect is much creepier. Over a pummeling, circular riff, guitarist David Safar declaims his kinda-eternal love: "Ready to die. Die for you." "C'mon! C'mon!" retorts Budge, seemingly bored. I'm not sure whether she's saying, "Knock it off, bud," or "Well, get to it, then." I hope I never figure it out.
- Citypages


Discography

Deaf "This Bunny Bites

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Bio

The Deaf are a three piece throbbing with brutal hook laden bursts of grind rock that make you groove and thrash all at the same time. A hodge podge of musical experiments are born again in "This Bunny Bites". The Deaf get what they want and hammer it into their homemade stew, smattered with overweight rock. They draw on disorientation and emulsify it with educated fury. These grad students have completed their first angst ridden thesis, expounding on fuck. Packed into a blistering record of tight leather and bloody chords, the three piece pounds out original ballads of pulsing thrash metal sludge that brings a refreshing stomp on your ears. The Deaf purees a philosophy guru, a mistress of law and a Russian scientist into 14 blistered fairytales of grudgecore. With each track comes a razor blade kiss that skips all foreplay and goes straight to the money shot. David, Jack and Stef crank out a sound you can only identify as a jet plane take-off. Earsplitting, sonic, burnt and unstoppable. The Deaf will wreck you.