DZ Deathrays: Bloodstreams – album review

DZ Deathrays ”“ Bloodstreams Big Hassle Records CD/DL/LP CD/LP Out Now, DL to follow. DZ Deathrays have been rapidly building up quite a name for themselves this year. They’re a thrash pop band from Brisbane (emphasis on the ‘thrash’) and have just released their debut album, Bloodstreams, quite probably one of the years finest. In the following review Adrian Bloxham leads you through the album track by bloody track. This is utterly, utterly essential. This album is what you feel when you realise that the band playing on a stage a foot high in the corner of the pub have just gone into the only song you know by them and are tearing your face off with wonderful glorious noise. They are the bloody nose you got in the middle of a crowd. They are the feedback leaking from a bad speaker. Put the album on. Slowly, a sound like a cheap keyboard, a gentle bass line and quiet guitar draw you in, then the noise starts, one mighty chord, distorted and we are off. ‘Teenage Kickstarts’ is snotty, aggressive and fast and listening to it you are convinced that it just isn’t bloody loud enough. ‘Bound to fall apart’ indeed. ”˜Cops Capacity’ moves forward with a beat before the noise kicks in, big swathes of guitar and the ‘don’t care if I can sing or not’ vocals which fit this perfectly, the song stutters along, kids looking for trouble and prowling the streets hating the police, it has a strutting feel to it, cocky and arrogant. ‘No Sleep’ is a song driven by the drums with the vocals higher up and singing to you. It’s the sound of a brain trying to shut down. You don’t go to sleep even when you’re stretched out on the floor trying to get yourself together. ‘Play Dead’ builds, a tiny sound and then what sounds like a distorted church organ and drums make the song get louder ‘you used to be a cynic, we used to be platonic’ vocals are understated. The guitars merge with the sound of the organ and kicks in again, slower but no less powerful for it. The feel carries on with ‘Gebbie Street’ and then changes into a more desperate spiky feel ‘you know our bodies make the right conversation’ messy emotions, messy sex, messy and loud and exhuberant. ‘Dinomight’ slams into you with a huge drum, bass and guitar; noise. It quiets down and you know it’s going to knock you back down in a moment. ‘We did it just for fun’, it finishes on a rhythm groove, bass and drum making you move and the guitar and vocals building more noise on top. ‘Dollar Chills’ the same feel again but more unsettling and harsh, using the faulty keyboard sound and bass together works bloody well. ‘Debt Death’ is very loud and then quiet, then VERY BLOODY LOUD indeed then quiet again until it fades into a guitar note and nothing. ‘Dumb it Down’ dirty dark synth led and sleazy vocals, it feels like it’s crawling over your skin, it’s on the edge of exploding but it doesn’t – it holds everything in and leads you to ‘LA Lighting’, guitar driven and no less dark, it moves like early Sabbath, all smashing guitar and off kilter drumming and bassline. ‘Trans am’ begins quietly, tunefully and eases the ears into a mass of guitar and keyboard before winding around over the top until it just stops. This album is a product of less than two weeks recording, a bunch of songs blasted out in basements, house parties and Clubs. It’s every bad punk record you ever fell in love with, mashed out of shape and sound but drenched in the attitude that doesn’t really give a flying one about everyone else. There’s a bunch of young upstarts at the moment kicking music in the head, making noise for themselves and waiting for you to find it and listen. Do yourself a favour and get on board. DZ Deathrays have a website, Myspace Tumblr Bandcamp and Facebook links.

All words by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian on LTW here.

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