Clawfinger – Deaf Dumb Blind – Review


Deaf Dumb Blind (Metal Blade)
by Chaz Thorndike

Starting out more as a joke than a serious effort to rock the world, guitarists Bard and Erlend jammed with lanky rapper Zak and programmer/keyboardist Jocke. That was 1990 in Stockholm, Sweden (as if you couldn’t guess that from the names), and now Clawfinger are the hottest heavies in Europe, opening for everyone from Alice in Chains and Anthrax to Whitesnake and Soul Asylum. Their American debut, Deaf Dumb Blind (Metal Blade), combines elements from so many genres that it just can’t go wrong.

Zak raps like a barrel-chested Mike Patton (gee, and their radio-friendly hit “Rosegrove” sounds totally Faith No More), and the guitarists chug repetitively like an awful lot of industrial metal bands. The distinctive quality of Clawfinger comes from the richness of their samples, throbbing drums, skipping, scraping and other “ings” that make up the majority of the songs. Track after track surges with hip-hop/metal energy and blasts of Pantera power. Despite the fact that the lyrics sound like the bitching of a rebellious 14-year-old and, from a guitarist’s standpoint, the rhythms stomp like shit-kicker boots on a stairmaster, the composition as a whole rocks hard.