[$5 // Edition of 100 // https://highdeaf.bandcamp.com/album/hear-no-evil-hear-no-evil-hear-no-evil // http://seizureman.storenvy.com/products/7825623-highdeaf-hear-no-evil-hear-no-evil-hear-no-evil-cassette]
Typically, the little monkeys with their hands on their heads make the gestures for not being able to see or speak evil as well, but in the case of HIGHDEAF it makes sense that they are only not hearing it because, well, highDEAF and all. Also, this is music which is more of the audio arts than visual but one could argue for a "speak no evil" notion so maybe in that way HIGHDEAF is just not making any promises.
The cassette I think of as "Hear No Evil" x3 begins with punk rhythms and hooks. It's heavy thrash in the lines of Every Time I Die and it is also instrumental. Somewhere between Primus and Rage Against the Machine the music comes out hard. I think it might be artcore and that always brings me back to FBTMOF (nothing bad about that comparison here) With hints of Darkest Hour and As Friends Rust, there is what appears to be a slight scream and then Side A ends with just some boominh metal.
Side B is where things get shaken up a little bit but only because one of the songs has vocals. They are spoken word at times and other times just plain screaming. But before that it starts with birds chirping and melodic guitar progressions. The only vocals that do come out on this side are by someone the linear notes says is a special guest so HIGHDEAF remains instrumental. Bits of Cloud Nothings come out and then there is that distorted into clean feel that I enjoy so much.
While I've listened to maybe a hundred bands that sound like HIGHDEAF (I know that number might seem high, but I've listened to *A LOT* of music) the one thing that all of those bands share in common that sets HIGHDEAF apart from them is that the music of HIGHDEAF is instrumental. I remember the first time I heard FBTMOF, I got caught into some of their songs with the hooks- the lyrics that repeated really.
And while HIGHDEAF has those hooks that can suck you in, they're not with any lyrics. To me, that somehow just makes this that much more amazing, a shining example as to why you don't always need vocals and can sometimes just let the music speak for itself.