3/4 Records, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/01/2012
Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley sure have stumbled onto something creative. Though the pair began this project strictly to play some house parties, it wasn’t long until there was enough demand to warrant some recordings with the inevitable record signing not long after. A duo that build up bombastic walls of sound but are just as skilled at playing tuneful, guitar driven rock, DZ Deathrays was even handpicked by Foo Fighters to accompany them on a tour of their home continent, Australia. Not too many bands can put that on their resume.
When one envisions house party music, I imagine it conjures images of boys and girls harmlessly flirting, some out of control drinking, and maybe a couple of people end up in the pool. But that’s not the kind of party DZ Deathrays is playing. This isn’t the soundtrack to a Jon Hughes film. This is the backdrop to a party where the cops break down the front door with riot gear intact, where someone brought a tattoo gun to the party, and a helicopter is hovering about the house, searchlights beaming down below.
Though the disc starts out with the mild instrumental “Bloodstreams,” things get furious in a hurry with the second track “Teenage Kickstarts.” A wild ride of singing and screaming full of fuzz and almost thrash-like mania, DZ Deathrays grabs you by the throat here, clinching tight. “Dumb It Down” brings things to a more serene level, a mid-tempo garage rock tune that could easily be a hit single. “Debt Death” brings the noise back with waves of sonic riffage that fades into calm. The band show great variety with perhaps the strongest track “Play Dead Until You’re Dead,” a tune that wouldn’t be out of place on a dance floor that later erupts into loud wailing.
With appearances at SXSW and CMJ there’s no doubt a significant buzz has developed about DZ Deathrays over here in the states. Though with this charged, hard hitting yet tuneful debut I feel pretty confident in saying we’re all on our way to being very clued in this with outfit’s brand of kinetic rock.