Melbourne’s heaviest export, Deez Nuts have proved their worth under the umbrella of contagious, confrontational and uncontrollable rapcore. However, their fourth studio outing proves that, somewhat surprisingly, the novelty’s worn off. ‘Word Is Bond’ drags their trademark catastrophic riffs and racing vocals back down to earth kicking and screaming, addressing emotional states they’ve previously ducked – you can’t dodge real life for long.
Hanging on the precipice of rage and vengeance, ‘The Message’ carries a growling, driven ethos of solidarity, while the confident and decidedly brutal ‘Behind Bars’ swears like a trooper to a drudging riff. The intense fretwork of ‘Face This On My Own’ frames towering anthemic gang vocals, detailing strength in numbers and a defiance rarely seen in hardcore. The self-assured confidence doesn’t last long, however, as ‘Wrong Things Right’ soon states “all I can’t be is a good man like my father and his father before him.”
The commanding drums of ‘Pour Up’ and gritty leading line of ‘What’s Good’ showcase musicianship at its finest, holding their own at every opportunity. Alex Salinger’s remorseless drum work throughout ‘Yesterday’ complements intimidating chants and a rap-infused interlude, while Matt Rogers’ brief yet punchy solo through ‘What’s Good’ furthers a contagious energy that tirelessly spans the record.
“Everything you did, you did for yourself and nobody else, no matter the cost,” chants ‘What I Gotta Do’, a track which is as driven and empowering as they come. Nobody is safe from JJ Peters, as he spits venom at lightning speed from beginning to end. Even targeting the man in the mirror on ‘Chess Boxin’, which delivers their signature relentless vengeance with unrivalled conviction. “Oh ye of little faith,” Peters levels at their critics throughout ‘What’s Good’. Their intricate fusion of conflicting genre interests is no mean feat, yet Deez Nuts continue to compel and reinvent.
Unfortunately, too many tracks close unexpectedly and run far too short, with ‘Understand’ coming in at a tragically brief 50 seconds. While the entire album run’s for a mere 35 minutes in total, with few tracks surviving past the two minute mark. Closer and title track, ‘Word Is Bond’, finally provides the record’s closing statement – “talk is cheap but we’re rich because our word is bond.”
Albeit rushed at times, ‘Word Is Bond’ carries its messages loud and clear. Whatever you’ve been through, you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with others just like you. And for those that cross their path – providing you live to tell the tale, learn from your mistakes. Deez Nuts are not to be messed with.
’Word Is Bond’ by Deez Nuts is out on now on Century Media Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)