After years of thrashing about at house parties in their hometown of Brisbane, Australia, heavy pop-rock duo DZ Deathrays have found themselves in a slightly alien place. They’re now in full global festival mode. Having recently played Splendour In The Grass festival back home and Cheltenham’s 2000 Trees festival back in July, they’re just beginning to settle into the envious task of playing to thousands of people rather than a few drunk friends.
Their music hasn’t exactly suffered under the impending pressures of crowd pleasing environments though. 2012’s full debut Bloodstreams was a dirty, jagged affair, with crawling electronic sounds set against guitar driven noise, that had the added ability to get people in the pit. Now the lads are about to release their follow up Black Rat, out in the UK on August 18th (It’s been out for bladdy ages in Australia) and it’s the sound of something pretty big.
The first single from the album, ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ is a straight-to-the point pop rock tune that turns a sleazy tale of a stripper into a question of self-purpose – “Gina works at hearts but she doesn’t know why/she just loves the attention”. The song is also the catalyst for an album of pleasant surprises, which lead you to the conclusion that DZ mabye aren’t just a one trick pony. They show off their versatility throughout its 11 gut punching tracks – stepping from the Beastie Boys suffused ‘Reflective Skull’ (check the video for a giggle) to the calm, melancholy of ‘Northern Lights’ – a side-step away from the pissed-up party antics into more sonically introspective territory.
Overall it’s a crucial step for the party loving duo into a world that isn’t too far away from the tiny front room of a student flat, it’s just more like a garden and there’s more people getting smashed and looking to have a good time.
Reviewer: Nad Khan