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Album Review: DZ Deathrays - Bloodstreams

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4/5

The garage-rock revival looked all but over in 2011. The White Stripes, one of the last surviving members of the class of 2000, parted ways, and the scene looked dead. Thankfully DZ Deathrays didn’t get the message. Their debut album Bloodstreams is thirty-six minutes of pure thrash and scuzz. If Jack White and Death From Above 1979 had a lovechild, it would be DZ Deathrays.

DZ Deathrays - BloodstreamsThe Deathrays are a two-piece outfit from Australia, consisting of drummer Simon Ridley and guitarist/vocalist Shane Parsons. Their self-professed dream is to party with Andrew W.K. and their Facebook profile simply states “we started at a house party... we will most likely end at one”. Judging from this record, it’s easy to see why.

Only one of Bloodstreams’ twelve tracks lasts past the four-minute mark, and as that fact suggests, the band isn’t keen to mess about. The minute-long 'Intro' crashes abruptly into 'Teenage Kickstarts', which throws the listener in at the deep end with its dirty riffs and primal screams. Thankfully, Parsons doesn’t overcomplicate his guitar playing; his basic chugging rhythms tie in perfectly with his rasping voice.

'Cops Capacity' continues in the same vein, with no let up on the overdrive, before its anthemic conclusion of ‘East say cops and West say capacity’ that will surely make this a live favourite. 'No Sleep', the album’s first single, is slightly more on the pop side of the band’s spectrum, and it’s catchy as hell. The music video also features comedian Arj Barker (Dave from Flight of the Conchords), parodying Paul Simon’s video for 'Call Me Al', which is worth checking out regardless.

Despite their tendency to get stuck straight in, the Deathrays do have an ear for a teasing build-up. 'Play Dead' has a smooth synth refrain, and doesn’t actually unleash its savage chorus until almost three minutes in, at which point the song almost takes off. The duo almost sound like Nirvana in party-mode on the thrilling 'Dinomight', which explodes and diffuses intermittently, and together these tracks form two of the album’s many highlights.

'Bloodstreams' is extremely tight and consistent – it doesn’t feel too long, nor too samey at any point, and is a remarkable debut effort. If there is a lowpoint though, it is found in album-closer 'Trans AM', which doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the other cuts. It’s still a thoroughly decent track though, and a great testament to the strength of the album that nothing stands out as being particularly mediocre.

The duo say they live for house parties, and these guys would definitely liven up any intimate venue. The tone they’ve created on Bloodstreams is an absolute treat to listen to, and sounds fresher than any other new rock group in 2012.

Small wonder then, that NME named them the fourth most exciting new band of 2012. It could be a very big year for the Aussie lads. At this rate, they may even get to live their dream of partying with Andrew W.K.




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