Australia in the 2010s seems to have time- and space-traveled to New York in the mid- to late '70s, churning out tons of bands carrying the garage and punk flames. Before the halfway mark of 2012, Bleeding Knees Club served up mischievous garage punk and Royal Headache's hooky punk-soul debut arrived stateside -- and with first-time full-length Bloodstreams, DZ Deathrays give their take, a mix of Shane Parsons' buzzsaw guitar riffs and Simon Ridley's fiery dancefloor rhythms. Comparisons to dance-punk bands of yore like Death from Above 1979 and Radio 4 are apt, but DZ Deathrays' roaring rawness and furied energy create a sense of momentum that makes the sound their own. Produced by Richard Pike of experimental Aussie post-rockers PVT, the album possesses a sheen that wasn't in the mix on the Brutal Tapes and Ruined My Life EPs they released a year before, but rather than dilute the band's intensity, that approach serves as the producer's version of taking a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down -- if the medicine was the musical equivalent of razor blades. "Gebbie Street" best distills the vibe of Bloodstreams, a sleazy, swaggering love song ("You know our bodies make the right conversation") that goes from danse macabre to bass and bongo jam to stomping, primal blues-punk, like the feral child of mid-career the Rapture, Tussle, and the White Stripes. In contrast, tracks like "Play Dead Until You're Dead" show DZ Deathrays aren't afraid to tap the brakes, employing a possessed-sounding church organ and call-and-response shouts, eventually submitting to the rumbling guitar assault to create a fractured hymn of living life in the red. So grab your leather jacket, crack a beer, and blast Bloodstreams from your porch. Whether it makes the neighbors call the police or starts a block party (or both), it's in the spirit of DZ Deathrays' punky, party ethos.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Chrysta Cherrie