DZ Deathrays – Bloodstreams

 “Feeling so predictable now,” guitarist and vocalist Shane Parsons sings on “Dumb It Down”, a slower, hungover number compared to the raucous thrash of the party-hard album.
Heralded by NME as the 8th best new band in 2011, predictably there are expectations set for Brisbane duo DZ Deathrays, and with their debut Bloodstreams it’s possible to see how and why they stood out. It’s an overt homage to 80s hair metal, with a lot leaning on the thrash of Lightning Bolt there in the mix. However – unpredictably – it’s the boys’ in-and-out knowledge of the tension-and-release of dance music that rises to the top: “This is where you lose your shit” scream the vox,  guitar and drumkit. It’s a testament to their musicianship, to their craft. The result is an unpredictable 13-track pocket-rocket dose of explosive quantities, a schizophrenic Death From Above 1979 but with dancing/party shoes on – this is heavy party anthems, we’re here until the first trains. Can you last?

Arrive at the party and, well, “Teenage Kickstarts”, a Mötley Crüe reference, sucks you in. It’s packed, but there’s still room to move, then “Dollar Chills” pumps it up, a catchy cock-rock intro punctuated with a “YOOOOOW” before an explosion of distortion, attitude and cymbals.
The party further descends into high energy guttural screams with dance-y Rapturesque combo of guitars and cow bell-sounding drums on “Dinomight”. “Cops Capacity” has the uptempo quality to keep the d-floor moving with its overdrive riffage mixed with call and response from the rock God vocals. Then single “Gebbie Street” brings out Simon Ridley’s gentler disco drums, with bongo sounds in the pre-chorus – a standout.

“No Sleep” is metal axe licks with those catchy fills before it leaps into “Debt Death”, a distorted mess of fuzz. A quiet part of the party, the aforementioned “Dumb It Down” maintains the dancing with lagging beeps of guitar. Afterwards, “LA Lightning” punches you in the face – angular guitar riffs taking the song in an unpredictable direction before the freakout midway through. And then people edge out as new-wave style Trans Am slows it down.

Like the predictability of a party’s trajectory, DZ Deathrays, knowingly, are going to polarise people into whether it’s been a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ party – you will either dislike it or love it on first listen. Those disliking naysayers will view the technical guitar riffs, adolescent lyrics and thrashing cymbals as vulgar cock rock for assholes, buttholes and other holes. And those that like it will, predictably, say the exact same thing.

by David Claridad

April 20th 2012
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