Live: Destroy All Hearing. Black Dice, Birthdays.

There are umpteen places I'd rather find myself on a Thursday. It's the one evening upon which the stagnancy omnipresent of Dalston is worst exposed, as they that frequent its faux-bijoux establishments fill the air with the incessant prattle of the irrelevant. Birthdays, too, is one of its worse venues; the sort you wouldn't wish even a nemesis to celebrate a certain special annual event within. A subterraneous corridor blurred by thick fuzzes of hair and general darkness, Parts & Labor mover and shaker Dan Friel is scarcely visible. His cataclysmic chunks of brutal sound, however, are anything but inaudible.

Like a solitary Sleigh Bell shuddering in these mild October climes one moment and Grandaddy overdosing on overdrive the subsequent, his aural output is as skull-numbing as an infinity of SlagsmÄlsklubben. No bad thing. His simple, yet astonishingly memorable harmonies find themselves lodged deep within a glutinous discordance that is as though sonic sludge dribbling from crackling speaker stack like spittle from the lips of the starved. The overall effect is somehow mellifluous though, making his recent instating as Tyondai Braxton's touring guitarist and electrocutioner a fairly sound fit. With said sound being barbarous dissonance, needless to say.

Then, as Noddy Holder once blared, it's time to Cum On Feel the Noize as Brooklyn noizeniks Black Dice roll out from their strangely hushed backstage domain. For an act as esoteric as the noise-trance trio, it's startlingly heaving here a few feet beneath grubbed Dalston pave stone. They of course waste little time in laying all hearing to waste, the room swiftly transformed into an inescapable cocoon of cacophony. Not the sort from which one emerges any more alluring, but rather a little sweatier and a load more deaf, both retinas a little singed by the unremitting blinking of furious strobe. Rita's meaty baps must surely be quaking upstairs. Heck, their gobbledygook sounds are most likely loud enough to deep-fry the stifling air about us...

Throw me in the fryolator, though, for this one is, oddly enough, a thoroughly immersive experience: from the opening synthetic thwacks of Outer Body Drifter through close, they utter not a word. Not. A. Word. And yet we remain captivated; entranced by their almost hypnagogic transcendence. There's certainly an oneiric quality to tonight – a dreamy nightmare, or a nightmarish dream effectively dependent on whether or not you've earplugs handy – and in translating Mr. Impossible into a quite tangible entity, they triumph.

At times this still inscrutable Mr. Impossible resembles a confectionary masochist with Bunsen burners for fingers, busied by the conducting of a gummy bear massacre (the funky elastane clunk to both Pinball Wizard and The Jacker) whilst at others he's somewhat more scissor-handed. It's as though they're attempting to make zips of your ears with their serrated synths on the demented squelches of Pigs and the acerbic blip of Shithouse Drifter. Sporadically, they even sound as though they're on the verge of unfastening a portal to another realm that's otherwise imperceptible within the context of our recognised reality, only to catch the zipper on their own proverbial unfortunates. For as with each record, there's a fluidity to the show as they remain muted, allowing changes in pace and sonic pugnacity to dictate proceedings. Occasionally this may jar, yet you sense this incompatibility is wholly conscious as ferocious juxtapositions fulfil the function of jolting every eye wide open.

If Fuck Buttons employ Fisher Price gizmos for good, then Black Dice tinker with the things to the tune of unadulterated evil. Rodriguez is transmogrified into pure malevolence, and is purely riveting as a consequence. We fumble for discernible rhythm to which we may violently shake a skull to, although ultimately it's just too fucking loud. Every piece replicates the sound of a thousand amplifier tubes splintering a second as ear canals overflow with tidal boomers of murderous resonance. Blood erupts volcanic from lugholes blown wide open.


Hyperbole aside, theirs is a show that touches heavily upon the devastating, the deafening and, ultimately, the destructive. You'll know full well once you've felt the full force of these great generators of glitch and din, and as one final throw comes to an inharmonious standstill, a few breaths of relief are sighed. With the thought of enduring respite to ensue, however, silence was never made to seem quite so unnatural.