Honestly at this point, it should be quite obvious to even a casual listener of Deez Nuts that they have a comfort zone and have never strayed too far from it. While their fifth album, Binge and Purgatory, more or less conforms to this belief, there is a feeling that the band is tentatively trying to spread their wings, with a stronger lyrical focus and a strong sense of dynamics.
(I’ll skip the normal little band introduction part, because I’m sure people don’t need to read a another paragraph about how Deez Nuts were formed by JJ Peters after I Killed the Prom Queen broke up for the first time and they play a combination of hardcore and hop hop, like every other review of theirs mentions).
So what should a first time listener expected from Binge and Purgatory?
They should expect to hear a hardcore album, with a band that can go from fast-paced to slower,breakdown focused hardcore in the blink of an eye and a vocalist that is half yellling/half rapping with a huge amount of gang vocals. Whether this sound good or bad is completely up to listener, with Deez Nuts seeming to have a equal amount of critics as fans since their inception.
However as mentioned before, with Binge and Purgatory, you get the sense that Deez Nuts is trying to change it up a bit, with this album having a more depressing atmosphere to it, especially lyrically. JJ Peters is delivering lyrics that show him putting in more of an effort to be meaningful, no lyrics about just mindless partying are found here (mostly), but more thoughtful lyrics about topics such as the touring lifestyle, addiction and songwriting (nothing that will set the world on fire, but it’s a welcome change).
As well as this, Deex Nuts show a stronger sense of dynamism throughout, with Binge and Purgatory balancing out their slower, more forceful hardcore soung, with a much faster and energetic vibe throughout the album. Most of the tracks present aren’t content to stay the course throughout their runtime, as they switch it up at least once, with Deez Nuts showing off their ability to effortlessly change speed and rhythm at the drop of a hat.
This change is apparent from the opening track Binge, with Deez Nuts opting away from the high energy that usually define their opening tracks for a somber build up before launching into Purgatory. Purgatory has a large sense of build up to it, almost feeling a continuation of the intro track, with a huge amount of gang vocals and a breakdown at 1:12 that sounds a lot heavier than expected for Deez Nuts, with it having a relentless edge to it.
Antidote is where the increased sense of dynamics is felt, with the band switching back and forth from heavier riff led sections to faster hardcore sections in quick succession with Terror vocalist Scott Vogel showing up, giving the track a far more aggressive feel.
Songs like Commas & Zeros and Discord see Deez Nuts drifting in a more catchy direction, with gang vocals galore and JJ Peters delivering vocals in a calmer style at points (almost sounding like singing during the chorus of Discord), with Discord being an album highlight due to the focus on the basswork of Sean Kennedy.
Alternatively, several songs lean in a faster hardcore direction, such as Break Out, Carried By Six and Remedy, with gang vocals being used often to increase the impressive amount of energy that songs already contain and the slower sections of the songs being more riff focused, rather than the expected breakdowns, which gives these songs a swagger that suits Deez Nuts quite well.
While Deez Nuts may deliver the album most people would of expected, the changes and switch ups present during Binge and Purgatory show a band that is self aware of this and are slowly adding new elements to their sound and improving their song writing, delivering a solid album which is a worthy addition to their discography. Whether they continue to branch out or just stick to what they know remains to be seen however, but album #5 is as good as a place to start as any.
Also, this album is just plain fun to listen too.
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