Brazil’s Deafkids celebrate unity and freedom through ear-ripping, percussive punk fusions | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Brazil’s Deafkids celebrate unity and freedom through ear-ripping, percussive punk fusions


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For local heavy-music fans, this stacked bill—which also includes pioneering postmetal masters Neurosis and beautifully crushing doom duo Bell Witch—is among the most-anticipated concerts of the summer. But anyone planning to go should make sure to arrive in time for the Chicago debut of Brazilian trio Deafkids, who open the show. Formed in 2010, Deafkids build their songs on a base of explosive polyrhythmic percussion, over which they layer raw, frenetic combinations of punk, psych, Brazilian jazz, dub, chanting, harsh noise, and more. Steve Von Till of Neurosis, who runs the Neurot label, signed the group for their recent third studio album, Metaprogramação, and he’s described what they do as “sonic ayahuasca.” This music is like rocket fuel for the most brain-bending mindfucks on the planet, no illicit substances required (actually, scratch “planet” and add outer space too). Metaprogramação (“Metaprogramming”) questions the existence of personal freedom as constant media and government messaging tries to divide and exploit everyday people. The album urges listeners to resist such programming and strive for unity and liberation, and the way the songs seamlessly bleed into each other seems to suggest one way of accomplishing this. The band’s live shows are even more incendiary than their recordings—even grouches who claim to have heard it all will have to pick their jaws up off the floor after Deafkids finish shaking the room. Before setting off on their maiden voyage through North America earlier this month, the band spent some time in São Paulo recording new material with Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman (to a “Hell, yeah!” from heavy-music freaks everywhere). Word of that release should come soon enough; in the meantime, you can let Deafkids simultaneously open and obliterate your neural pathways at Thalia Hall.   v

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