Friday, 25 May 2012

Review: DZ Deathrays - Bloodstreams

 I've been needing to look at what bands have been getting recent  buzz to be the next big thing. Some of the bands have impressed, others have not. But thank goodness one of those bands has been Brisbane duo DZ Deathrays. I have discovered them through the buzz they've been getting, so I can't consider myself an original fan of such. But on the sheer strength on their debut album Bloodstreams, I get the feeling it would have been great to have been an original fan. Instead I will just have to watch their rise to mainstream. The rise to the mainstream from my favourite new band.

 See, the garage rock revival scene that started in the early 2000s has always been viewed as being effortlessly cool, but the kind of performance and attitude displayed from Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley on this album takes things to a whole new level. Making the claim that their career as DZ Deathrays "started at a house party", various tunes are of the variety that you want to mindlessly headbang to with a can of Fosters in hand. The hedonistic party-boy attitude of Teenage Kickstarts and No Sleep carry a delirious sense of charm about them, as explosive riffs, drowned in sickeningly sweet distortion are triggered out of nowhere. They serve as a massive rush of ecstasy that makes a rock n' roll party the perfect setting for such songs to be blasted out at top volume. They're every bit as exciting as they are energetic.
 But there's more on Bloodstreams than simple party tunes. DZ Deathrays also have the skill of being able to produce an emotional response from listeners, weird as that sounds given their self-labeling as a "party-thrash" band would suggest otherwise. However, with the use of dynamic synthesizer backdrops and gripping melodies, there's a very real sense of emotional substance to be found on the album's playing. The uplifting nature of tracks like Play Dead and Trans AM are perfect examples of this aspect of the album but also shows that even in it's softest moments, Bloodstreams still has an indestructible outer-shell. It's in the way that despite the basslines and guitar work having a warm tone but still a roughened texture, which makes it subtly badass. Of course, this shows that even in their most tender moments, DZ Deathrays still have the power of AC/DC within them.
 So, even if the whole garage rock revival isn't your thing, there's still much to like about DZ Deathrays. They step out of the boundaries that came with the genre labeling while also making effective use of the main elements of garage rock. And really, when considering the way in which they manage to create a sound which is incredibly noisy, riotous and exciting and manage to trigger an emotional response at the same time, isn't that the sign of a rock and roll masterpiece?

DZ Deathrays' Bloodstreams is out now via Distort Inc. 

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