When over production is the default position for most bands in 2012 the DIY approach of Aussie electro punks DZ Deathrays is a breath of fresh air. There are no bells and whistles, no pro tools chicanery on their debut album Bloodstreams just real, raw music that shakes the bones and stirs the heart. It rumbles, it roars, it screams. it soars. It was recorded in less than two weeks and has so much power it could become Australia's main source of renewable energy.
After a perfunctory, and entirely unrepresentative, sub 60 seconds intro called appropriately enough 'Intro', the album bursts into life with the Motley Crue inspired 'Teenage Kickstarts' and 'Cops Capacity'. These two stabs of garage thrash will have you bouncing around your living room like an astronaut on a helium filled space hopper on the moon. Two people have not made this much ear splitting noise since the volume on The White Stripes amps broke. These two tracks could strip the paint off your walls.
It would be impossible to keep up such a blistering pace and, unsurprisingly, the leading contender for best song title of the year at the 405 awards 'Play Dead Until You're Dead' slows the pace down a little. It starts with what sounds like an organ from the church of the living dead before slowly morphing into a Dr Frankenstein experiment to create a song from discarded bits of The Beastie Boys and Justice. It's like a dark disco version of '(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)' for Goths to play in cemeteries. 'Gebbie Street; is another slower paced number and it's the sleaziest, sexiest track on the album, although screaming "our bodies make the right conversation" in your paramour's face is possibly not the best chat up approach in romantic history.
But you can't keep a good riff down, and the pace picks up again with the explosive 'Dinomight' (I think I've met my pun target for this week) which sounds like a mash up of Adam and the Ants and The Troggs' Wild Thing on anabolic steroids. On 'Dollar Chills' the guitars sound like they're having the life squeezed out of them while 'LA Lightning' has a riff that Jack White would give his right and left arms for. It sounds like R2D2 rogering a Gretsch Triple Jet.
DZ Deathrays have more than a few tricks up their sleeves. Not content with battering you into submission with the sheer brute force of their riffs they also seduce you with tracks like the melodic electro pop of 'Dumb It Down' and the soft around the edges woozy post punkadelica of final track 'Trans Am'. These two tracks are a long, long way from the metallic thrash of the opening salvo. It's like the duo have compressed five albums worth of musical progression into 12 tracks.
Bloodstreams may not be the best produced album you'll hear this year but it crackles with energy and has more swagger than a drunk giraffe on roller skates. It could be the best album from a riff laden duo since Jack and Meg went their separate ways. DZ Deathrays could be the best Australian export since Fosters.