For those who don’t know, Desiring Dead Flesh are a 3-piece hardcore punk band from Michigan, entirely made up of family members Bryan (vocals, father), Adam (drums, son), and Ravyn (guitar, daughter). Yep, just drums, guitar and vox—no bass or anything else. This is raw, fast punk rock. While it would be tempting to think this is simplistic, that would be missing the mark. The rhythms are much more complex, angular, and asymmetrical to be simple. Raw, yes, but not simplistic.
What’s interesting is how difficult it is to find a point of comparison. Out of the hundreds of hardcore punk bands that play in this style, I can’t think of a single one that sounds like DDF. Whether that’s because of the bassless 3-piece configuration, or something else, it’s hard to say. Stylistically they draw from a combination of late 70s English punk and early 80s LA hardcore. It’s too oddball to sound anything like NY punk or hardcore. Although DDF doesn’t sound anything like these bands, the closest points of comparison are misfit outfits like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Butthole Surfers, the Germs, and early The Damned. The whole album of 15 songs clocks in at 13 minutes!
Lyrically the band tackle topics ranging from Bible stories (“Broomtree”) to awkward medical check-ups (“U R A Nation”) to the death of the music industry (“DIY”) with enough sardonic wit and humor to rouse even the most cynical of punk rockers.
Although it’s inspiring to see a punk band proceed without a bass player, which in turn creates some surprising originality in sound, I can’t help but wonder what Desiring Dead Flesh could accomplish with a fuller sound on the bottom end. It will be interesting to see what happens for future recordings.