Melbournians Deaf Wish have a new album Pain out via Sub Pop/Inertia on August 7th which finds them striking a rich vein of tangled careering avant-rock, genre-splicing its way through the history of post-punk, post-rock, no-wave and hardcore. It harnesses their propensity for tension, both its formation and release as well as the juxtaposition of atonality and dissonance that bands such as Liars, Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and the 3Ds have mastered in the past. Guitarist Sarah Hardiman kindly took the time to answer our Sonic Kicks Q&A and give us an insight into the some of the albums that shaped her.
The first album you bought.
I can’t remember but I can remember the first album I found. There was a second hand Salvos donation bin near my house and there were loads of records piled against it. I was flicking through and found this Rough Trade promo copy of the early Raincoats stuff, it is red with like these dark green African silhouettes dancing on the front. I still have it. I had borrowed a book from my library at high school on punk rock and it had The Slits in it – I didn’t like the Slits but I loved The Raincoats and I was obsessed with how cool all the girls looked in that punk scene. I felt blessed that day because I found the record – I felt like I must be a good person – the way you feel when animals like you, hahaha.
The album that soundtracked a relationship.
I was living in London in the worst relationship I’ve ever been in and we used to play The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands and I’d think, good tunes at least.
The album that inspired you to form a band.
That was Bikini Kill’s The C.D. Version of the First Two Records. My friend and I didn’t want songs to go past 2 minutes. We got drunk in my bedroom and wrote our first song which was about 1.5 minutes long. It was called, ‘Inn-Keeper’ after the Australian bottle shop.
Your favourite album cover art.
I always loved the saturated colours and composition on The Gun Club’s Miami and the artwork for Hüsker Dü‘s Metal Circus. I felt with both records that I had uncovered a secret cult and that it was all for me – no one else knew them. And I would get emotionally bruised when others spoke about them as if they knew what it was about, I’d think, “But that’s my secret, they’re my cult leaders.” I felt I had found punk music that was outside of the prescriptive punk aesthetic. Both covers looked cool and dangerous.
Your guilty pleasure album.
Spice Girls – Spice. I used to listen to it with my big love all the time before going out. You know, having drinks and dancing and getting in the ‘mood’ to socialise. I didn’t listen to music like that so I thought it was even more fun. I liked being taught how to relax and be silly, I was very serious back then.
An album you loved but now have no idea why you bought it.
I have this album of Balinese Temple Music and I have no idea how I got into it, maybe in one of those patches I have when I think I’m gonna clean up my act and become peaceful and spiritual, but I still love it. I kinda clean the house and do gardening to it, just reassess.
The last album you bought.
Mulatu Astatke’s The Story of Ethio Jazz (1965-1975) – recommended by someone.