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Deaf Wish


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An Australian band whose primal, jagged assault suggests '80s punk and post-punk outfits ranging from Hüsker Dü, the Wipers, and Sonic Youth to the Scientists, Deaf Wish became something of an underground legend in their homeland thanks to their cathartic output in the late 2000s.
Frequent lineup changes and hiatuses echoed the volatility of their music, but a stabler, more polished version of the band emerged a few years later on 2015's Pain and 2018's Lithium Zion, their first recording in a professional studio.
Deaf Wish formed in Melbourne in May 2007, featuring Sarah Hardiman and Jensen Tjhung on guitars, Nick Pratt on bass, Daniel Twomey on drums, and all four on vocals. They started out with two guiding principles: they need not concern themselves with making music that will last; and if they're unsure of what to do next while performing, the best option is to go for feedback. With this in mind, not long after forming, Deaf Wish recorded ten songs that they self-released on CD-R, and they played a pair of shows before Hardiman left the group to move to the United Kingdom.
Initially, Deaf Wish took this as a sign to call it a day, but as their homemade album continued to circulate, the band's reputation grew, and in 2008 Deaf Wish decided to bend their own rules a bit and returned to duty, with guitarist Pete Dickinson taking Hardiman's place. The Australian label Stained Circles struck a deal with the group, whose second album, Reality & Visions, appeared in 2009. By the time they finished touring in support of the LP, Deaf Wish had once again broken up, as Nick Pratt had moved to Perth and Dickinson left the band. But when Hardiman returned to Melbourne for a visit several months later, the group reconvened and cut another album, 2010's Mercy. The release was intended to be a final statement, but in 2014, Hardiman was once again living in Melbourne, and the bandmembers decided to give Deaf Wish another try.
Sub Pop Records, the noted American indie label that had long shown their appreciation for the Australian underground scene, signed Deaf Wish, and they released a four-song EP, St. Vincent, in the fall of the year, followed by touring in Australia and the United States. In August 2015, the band dropped its first album for Sub Pop, the concisely titled Pain. For 2018's moody, slightly cleaner-sounding Lithium Zion, Deaf Wish opted to record in a proper recording studio (Melbourne's Head Gap Recording) for the first time in their career. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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