Damon Baxter and Pete Diggens blew our minds and eardrums back in 2018 with the behemoth that was Deadly Avenger’s I Am Godzilla, You Are Japan. Not a single window or piece of fine china was safe when the beat dropped on that epic piece of beat blastin’ science fiction. The synth riffs were dense and the beats menacing as a giant atomic dinosaur arising from the core of the earth. And with Luke Insect’s album design it all came together like a force to be reckoned with.
Deadly Avenger has returned(as have the fellas from Burning Witches Records) to take us back to where it all began, and on RSD 2019. Your God Is Too Small is a prequel to what came before it, and we are treated to the big synth riffs and hard-driving electronic rhythms we know and love from DA. There is also more nuance and restraint this time around, adding a whole new dimension to the tongue-and-cheek bigness of this album’s predecessor.
No single square inch of land or any towering skyscraper is spared this time around as opening track “YGITS” struts its way into your ears like a monster on a mission. Baxter engages all his power as an electronic musical wizard here and says simply “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” “A Promise For Komiko” sort of floats on a cloud of underlying menace, with a distant touch of Tangerine Dream in there for good measure. The lull created is short as “Destroy All Humans” kicks into action. A full-throttle techno boogie drives the track into the core of the earth like a 50-foot drill.
The intensity and fun of I Am Godzilla, You Are Japan is still very much intact here, except this time around Deadly Avenger takes some time to savor the nuances and change of pace a bit. There seems to be more moments throughout Your God Is Too Small where Baxter lets moments of contemplation sink in. Something like “Gunmen Omego” would’ve been an anomaly first time around, where as here it adds a bit of mystery to the proceedings. But fear not, “The Mysterions” busts at the seams like Flying Lotus being devoured by a Kaiju. It’s groove and wonky electronics gives it the feeling of slowly disintegrating in waves of radiation.
There also seems to be some of the sunburnt 80s vibes of WHEN HARO MET SALLY lingering here. You can’t help but feel it in “Tears In A Demon’s Eye” and “Myuki my Love”. The sonic palate isn’t limited to pavement-crushing beats and radiated synth chords that can easily melt minds(as well as cities.) The beginning for monsters can be heavy-hearted and existential, too.
With Your God Is Too Small, Deadly Avenger reassembles the beast but gives it a bigger, beating heart. There is still that sense of fun and ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge elbow in the ribs’ kind of shenanigans, but there also lies at the center here a sonically rich album. One that still definitely knocks you about a bit, but also gives you moments of blissful contemplation. It’s all the fun and sonic destruction you were hoping for, and some added heart that surprises you.
8. 2 out of 10
Your God Is Too Small is available tomorrow, April 13th, on Record Store Day 2019 via Burning Witches Records. Don’t sleep in. Get up, throw some coffee in your face, and go stand in line with the rest of the folks in pajama pants drinking Red Bulls and vaping. This album is a must-have. It’s worth it.