When I hear the name Deadly Bites, I imagine a lurid, D-grade exploitation movie from the 1970s or 1980s. It could be an Italian Zombie film, where the poorly made-up ghoul’s stumble around biting actors who utter badly written dialogue in roughly dubbed English. Alternately, it could be a revenge of nature tale where a gang of teenagers, clearly played by jaded actors in their thirties, get devoured by mutated piranhas. In other words, the trash aesthetic all the way. Partly ridiculous, but totally invigorating.
That’s an accurate description of the band Deadly Bites, a self-described “thrill wave” psych rock band from Johannesburg. It’s perfectly expressed on their infectious single ‘Explode!’. The propulsive track is built on a massive surf-wave guitar riff, while catchy ‘woah-woah’ lyrics ride over the top. Building on their pulp aesthetic, the song has a fun narrative about aliens coming to party on, and also destroy, Earth.
It’s the latest release for the four piece band, which consists of Joy Steyn, Dean Hibbert, Elio Moavero and Valentino Moavero. To date, they have released a self-titled album (2017), which includes illustrative titles like ‘Black Void’ and ‘I’m a Vampire’, and the In Light/Poison EP (2016). The group also stands out with their strong graphic image, featuring striking comic book style artwork of extraterrestrials and glamorous witch figures.
They know exactly what they want, and that’s to bring a sense of fun and play to the South African rock scene.
Listen to their music here.