The press release accompanying new album Deep Sleep contains the quote from Dolf de Borst, the vocalist/bassist of New Zealanders The Datsuns, which states that “We’re not fucking around. We’re all conscious of the fact that we don’t live close to each other and we’re getting older and people have families, so, if we’re together, we’re going to make records.” It suggests a passion, urgency, and intent to pour everything they have into these creative opportunities and it is fair to say that the bands sixth full-length is a compelling and feverish bloom bred from the ten days the band took to record it whilst for a rare moment being in the same place at the same time. The release is a transfixing adventure which does not ignite a raging fire in sound and emotion but smoulders with persuasive persistence to emerge as one hot and lively simmering vat of rock ‘n’ roll.
Taking their energy fuelled voracious rock sound into a new sultry sonic landscape employing the richest essences of bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Blue Oyster Cult and similarly essential sounds of the seventies, The Datsuns have created a mesmeric tempest of insatiable rock ‘n’ roll which relishes either charging with flared nostrils or crawling over the senses and imagination with seductive menace. Deep Sleep also takes a healthy dose of inspiration from 1970s French comic Kris Kool which was created by cult psychedelic artist Caza (Philippe Cazaumayou), whose work also covers the captivating release. Summoning “images of 1970s cult film super-villains” with its darker inflamed sonic proposition, though we would suggest it suits even more so the folk darkness of a Wicker Man or a Blood on Satan’s Claw, Deep Sleep is a thrilling blaze of sound and intensity which just gets bigger and better with time.
The album opens on a moody tone as first track Caught In The Silver begins with a shadowed breath of riffs and atmospheric keys. A shimmering crystalline resonance swiftly joins the brewing climate of the song, guitarists Philip Somervell and Christian Livingstone casting haunting and elegant melodies around a pungent bass line and rhythms which appear to be just waiting for the right moment to expel their intimidation. It comes once the distinctive and varied vocals of de Borst unlock the heart of the song, everything erupting in a thick, muggy, and gripping wash of sound and intensity. The song proceeds to rumble and rampage as well as engage in a psychedelic radiance especially ablaze through the riveting solo commandeering attention.
The potent start is powerfully backed by the heavy swagger and contagious swing of new single Bad Taste. Grooves make an inescapable web from virtually the opening seconds whilst Ben Cole’s rhythmic persuasion provides an imposing cage within which the excellent vocal calm and melodic flames explore ears and imagination with inventive revelry. The track is a delicious enslavement which the heavier footed and toned Claw Machine emulates straight away. It is another dramatically infectious proposition which with ease goes from a restrained yet vivacious stroll into expulsions of sonic fire, grooves and vocals soaring through the heated climate of the song with their melodic and ridiculously catchy flames. The album is at its most thrilling pinnacle at this point, the opening pair of tracks and this, joined by the glorious majesty of Shaky Mirrors and 500 Eyes to light a lustful hunger in appetite and emotions. The first of this pair is an incendiary groove fest with a tenacious energy and predacious attitude to match. Cole unveils a merciless bait of rolling and agitated rhythms which only seems to inspire the toxic lure of the guitars and throaty enticing of the bass whilst vocally de Borst roars with harmonic devilry. The song is instinctive in its temptation and ingenuity, purposefully preying on the submissive ardour already inspired by the album. Its unrestrained anthemic lure is matched by its completely different but no less predatory successor. 500 Eyes is stunning, a slow stalking of ears which slips tenderly over the senses with dark drama and portentous vocal temptation. It might just be the most evil and seductive song in existence, the band in full flirtation as they feed and devour the psyche, every aspect of the track parading a spellbinding voracious croon and sonic irreverence.
It would be unfair to say that Deep Sleep slips a gear from hereon in but such the alchemy driving the first clutch of triumphs, the likes of That’s What You Get and Creature Of The Week struggle to match their glory. To qualify that though, the first of these is a raging rock ‘n’ roll fire which is as ferocious in its sonic roar as it is infectious in its psych pop bullishness whilst the second of the two is a theatrical stroll with sinister drama and dark shadows draping every heavy rock and psychedelic enterprise making up its intriguing presence. Both tracks provide plenty of enjoyable food for thought and pleasure before making way for the bluesy rampage of Looking Glass Lies, a bruising and boiling slice of virulent energy and raw thrilling enterprise. The outstanding song is another anthem for feet and soul, a cauldron of sonic and melodic passion sculpted with enviable craft and flair.
Deep Sleep is completed by the mellower embrace of Sun In My Eyes, a warm breeze of melodies and radiance cored by a hungry stride which just gets more addictive with every listen, and finally its title track. The closer is a fuzzy wash with a dirge like breath and funereal intensity yet shines and shimmers with an absorbing beauty and irresistible charm.
It makes for an enthralling close to a breath-taking release. The Datsuns though admired, has never really brought our ears and emotions to a stop with their previous enjoyable releases. With Deep Sleep they have ignited a fire which can only be quenched with more of the same ahead please.
Deep Sleep is available via HellsquadRecords digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/deep-sleep/id907118759 and on vinyl, CD, and cassette versions.
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