For Fans Of
Let’s be real here, Deez Nuts are a whole lot of fun. Throughout their many releases and the many tours they’ve completed over years, never once have I said, “Wow, look at this splendid group of men performing life-affirming songs that will shape a whole generation.” Never fucking once have I thought that. But what I have said is “Wow, look at these rowdy motherfuckers, who you can tell just love heavy music, having the time of their lives and inviting us to do the very same.” Deez Nuts have never been anything more than a hardcore band that exists solely for the love of playing music and having a damn good time. And that’s what I love about ’em – both on their first, tongue in cheek album ‘Stay True‘ and now in 2017 with this new ripper. There’s no greater agenda behind their music nor is there any intellectually deeper levels to be extracted from their songs: it’s just good, fast, punchy hardcore and in some ways today, that can be a breath of fresh air.
Their newest offering, ‘Binge & Purgatory’, is very much so an extension and continuation of their prior two works ‘Bout It‘ and ‘Word Is Bond’. No more, no less. In other words: if you love Deez Nuts, you’re gonna fucking love this record! But if you have always thought that this four-piece were pieces of shit who played piece of shit music, you’re gonna think that exact same (incorrect) thought with ‘Binge & Purgatory‘.
Now, despite this new records pink exterior and claims that this is “heavier and more melodic”, fret not, this is still Deez Nuts at the musical heart. There are those crunchy riffs and crisp guitar tones that have been a staple in the band’s sonic palette over their whole career. And of course, JJ Peters‘ loud yells and rap vocal phrases and those brisk, passionate drum grooves you’ve come to know and love (or hate) feature prominently here.
Also, this is no comedic record like their early discography. Sorry, ye older fans.
One of the most noticeable and for me, one of the most enjoyable things here is the band’s use of larger dynamics. Songs like ‘Discord’, ‘Do Not As I Do’ and even the thirty-second smasher that is ‘Carried By Six’ have a variety of “movements” houses within if you will. They go from fast and otherworldly hardcore tunes right into sludgy, menacingly heavy breakdowns or half-time choruses without so much as blinking an eye, yet it all works super well. It helps to keep things interesting and help break the songs up from the more so than usual hardcore flow, keeping things somewhat new and fresh each and very minute. The former track, for instance, uses this to great effect as Peters raps over a simple drum and bass verse before the whole band launches into a stellar chorus. That stripped back verse really helps to extenuate and bolster the intensity of the upcoming chorus and simply makes for a far more interesting and varied listening experience. It’s just solid songwriting, really, which is what you’ll find on this whole record.
One of the other things you will not find in short quantity on ‘Binge & Purgatory’ are the gang vocals.
Holy shit, there are a lot of gang vocals. Like, a lot.
Nearly every song has them in some form or another, whether they simply help beef up JJ’s vocals or are the towering vocal focus within a songs overall mix. So you can’t say there isn’t a variety of them on this record. and while there may be too many on here, I have no issue when they work this brilliantly. For example, the pitched gang vocals on the chorus for ‘Remedy’ are fucking stellar as are the ones on ‘Purgatory’. They’re catchy and well placed and give you this insatiable itch to want to join in.
All that being said though, ‘Binge & Purgatory’ is Deez Nuts fifth album to date over their decade-plus year career and you’d be hard done by to say that they’ve done much progression in terms of style. This is roughly the same album we’ve gotten a few times from the boys now and although they’ve done it very, very well here, you can’t blame me for still wanting just a bit more from this group. Especially not when this record occasionally hints at what that “more” could offer. Whether they become heavier or more melodic, whether they bump up the songs tempos, become more intense musically or evolve into something entirely different, it seems to me that Peters and co. need to start expanding because as fun as this record was, I’m not sure how much more mileage they can get on it just being “fun”.
All in all, this is a splendid hardcore record full of crunchy riffs, tight breakdowns and gang vocals galore that will satisfy all the Deez Nuts fans in the world multiple times over. There’s no envelope-pushing music to be found here nor are any groundbreaking ideas presents. For some that will be enough but for others, it just will not satisfy their needs. For now, however, I was more than happy with the outcome. I just hope that next time around my contention isn’t about how fun Deez Nuts are is, but is instead about how interesting they have become. That might be wishful thinking, but a boy can dream.
4. Commas & Zeroes
7. Lessons Learned
8. Carried By Six
10. For What It’s Worth
11. Hedonic Wasteland
13. Do Not As I Do
‘Binge & Purgatory’ is out today, fam.