With its überoffensive moniker and that band pic featuring its members cradling adorable kiddies (their actual offspring—we swear!), prog-punk outsiders Child Abuse seem to be hankering for Brooklyn’s Most Reviled Band crown. But there’s no need to freak out. As bassist-vocalist Tim Dahl tells it, drummer Oran Canfield and then-keysman Luke Calzonetti innocently hatched the name when they happened upon an instrument pile and banged out a childlike racket. “We like to call it brutal children’s music,” he explains.
While the chances of Child Abuse soundtracking your youngster’s next playdate are nil, these noisemakers’ output isn’t without its lighthearted side, as gnarly hooks percolate from beneath a robotic splattering of grindcore, industrial and free jazz. (Envision a death metal Devo.)
The band has just issued its third album, Trouble in Paradise, which it celebrates with a typically explosive gig at soon-to-shutter Death by Audio. Whiplash grooves, start-stop rhythms and electronics-powered streaks and stabs drive earsplitting anthems such as “Kings Highway” and “Straight Out of Compton” (not covers, despite the titles). Meanwhile, Dahl serves as CA’s diabolically growling mad scientist, controlling the chaos with fret-hopping, pedal-stomping fury. Sure, the name turns heads, but Child Abuse is just three harmless kids-at-heart on a giddily destructive bender.—Brad Cohan
THE BOTTOM LINE Local miscreants whip up a strangely accessible slant on synth-damaged death metal.