Dead Neanderthals + Nick Millevoi – Dietary Restrictions (2015)

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Dietary Restrictions finds the Dead Neanderthals collaborating with Philadelphia-based guitar player Nick Millevoi at a gig in Berlin late in 2013. During what became a three-week tour, saxist Otto Kokke and drummer Rene Aquarius usually played with Millevoi as separate soloist, but for this concert he joined forces with the Dead Neanderthals — and the results have arrived as a limited-edition cassette release through the Czech-based Obsedante! label.

The Dead Neanderthals’ Rene Aquarius told me it was pretty rough and wild, and they hoped I would enjoy it. Well, it is pretty wild — not in an uncontrolled, bonkers way but in the way of excellent improvisers listening, communicating and batting off each other, creating ever more explorative sounds. Wild in a structured, nihilistic, free rolling way — which, by the way, is good.

There are only three tracks, the first of which has a title which is about as unrepresentational as you can get. “No Nuts” is, in fact, totally nuts. Starting with a manic session of the Dead Neanderthals’ sax and drums, joined after a couple of minutes by Nick Millevoi, the theme is developed and thrown back and forth like flotsam in a whirlpool. Around seven minutes in, “No Nuts” stops briefly, with some screaming strings — before the mania starts again. Deliciously and raucous.

There’s a short gap after clapping, and then “No Coriander” is underway. Quiet, and slow at first, the guitar sets the atmosphere. Deep, dark notes grind out for a full four minutes, as the track is developed into an atmospheric wall of noise. “No Alcohol” is another hell-for-leather, madcap interaction between the Dead Neanderthals and Nick Millevoi, each having their moments in the sun — brief but definitely there. The combination of screaming sax, devastating drums and discordant guitar does work, if you do it right.

Dead Neanderthals and Nick Millevoi’s Dietary Restrictions is one to start your heart — to un-relax, un-settle and un-fetter. Does it hit the spot? Did I enjoy it? Oh, yes to both.

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