God Pussy, “Bra$​il”

Brazilian dictator Jair Bolsonaro’s would-be assassin may have failed to stave off fascism, but cultural idealism is no match for the sheer destructive force of God Pussy.

How can art devoid of form, blistering in its pure sensory overload, form a response to modern-day fascist politics devoid of human compassion and democratic legitimacy? We’ll leave that question for another time, but Brazil’s harsh noise outfit God Pussy has been posing that question in violent testimonials for quite a while now. The project’s sole visionary Jhones Silva presents God Pussy as “a criticism of humanity’s deficiencies and hypocritical ambitious” carried out through “anti-art and anti-music”—somehow, it’s nihilism with a heart. Bra$il is a quick punch to the gut, a splash of boiling water during a heatwave striking up a fist of resistance against the Bolsonaro regime.

Bra$il is a stark departure from God Pussy’s recent output, opting for short, dry bursts of static instead of the winding mazes of dial-up modem sounds that characterised previous political-but-anti-political work. It’s an abrupt anarchy more in the tradition of 1980s hardcore bands like Brigada Do Odio or 1990s noise bands like Noise. (You can never accuse Brazilian bands of being too subtle.) Gone are the 8-minute improv jams—not a single track on this EP breaks the 90-second mark, and despite the sputtering chaos, the onslaught of static is pretty, well, static.

For example, the harsh nails-on-chalkboard feedback in “Clamor a Ditadura” ripples and fluctuates but remains steadily waterboarding your soul; “Presidente Alimentador de Ódio e Estupido por Natureza” oscillates between a high-pitched squeal and a low rumble, never loosening its immediate punch. It only takes 65 seconds of grating chainsaw distortion to tell us a tale of “Racismo, Homofobia, Neonazismo Tomando Conta da Nação” (“…taking over the nation”)

God Pussy proclaims on a banner at live shows that “all politics is immoral and no government represents us,” though reasonable minds can disagree if a wholesale rejection of form, structure, and authorities both cultural and militaristic isn’t in itself political. The point is to bludgeon the listener with the abject horror of the worst possible sounds, just as the corrupt lizard-king Bolsonaro is accelerating some of the worst environmental and human rights disasters on the planet. Things are going to get a lot worse before they can get better, and we might as well have a soundtrack that reflects this reality. You can’t go wrong with God Pussy.