Brisbane’s DZ Deathrays are releasing their debut on Hassle
Records, home to Cancer Bats, Turbowolf and Trash Talk.
While that bodes very well indeed, it also tells you most of what you need to know here. Deathrays
This band are a sweatdrenched, super-heavy, power-pop duo in the vein of DFA 1979 and MSTRKRFT, combining the searing sandblaster punk of the
former with the beat-driven snappiness of the latter.Deathrays
It’s unfortunate, really, that the comparison can be so neatly drawn to those brotherly Toronto bands, not only because it risksDeathrays
diminishing the undeniable rockhard awesomeness of tracks like
‘Gebbie Street’ and ‘Dinomight’, but also because that electro-rock and
hi-hats combo sounds badly dated. But listen close and you’ll
hear flashes of Sabbath, Anthrax, Blood Brothers and all manner of
Albarn himself refers to this music as “strange pastoral folk”, which is at least accurate,
English hills and dales materialised for the rise and fall of Dee, as the album begins and eventually ends with crystalline field recordings
of birds nattering.
Dee died in poverty, by the way, having mucked about with séances and
wife-swapping. Like the continual references to
religion (Dee, like all Elizabethan’s, was never far
from matters of God), it’s all here, I’m sure.
Although to really be aware of that you’ll need to not constantly be questioning what on earth
to make of Albarn’s latest anti-popular record. On one hand, his defiance to create anything other than what he wants at this stage in his
career is as valiant as it is daft; on the other, sparse and splintered, you can’t be sure that ‘Dr Dee’ makes for good opera either
is repeated again and again across the record, leaving ‘Blunderbuss’
among the best records to carry White’s name.Deathrays
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