Melbourne, Australia can seem like a distant outpost in the music world, where the trainspotting of the next big indie rock thing focuses primarily on North America and the U.K., but not for long thanks to the wonders of the internet and the ready accessibility of digital recording in bedrooms and garages across the globe. Witness the success of Japan's Boris who, through prolific output, extensive touring, and heavy word-of-email have virtually conquered the world market for garage/dirge/pummel-rock. And welcome the next entry to that realm, the Aussie noise trio Grey Daturas, and prepare to bow to your new masters. Recognize that the Daturas (an alias of the psychedelic Jimson weed) play no ordinary bandwagon-jumping brand of ear-splitting squall -- though they can certainly contend with the best of the genre offered up by Earth, Sunn 0))), Khanate, or the aforementioned Boris -- but are much more diverse in form and apparently entirely improvisatory. These two-guys-and-a-gal may be slight of stature but are absolutely titanic in sound, exploring everything from downtuned Stoogian plodders to free-form noise jams to straight-up space rockers to deconstructed sonic absurdisms that give a nod to neighboring Kiwis the Dead C. From the free-noise burst of "Force Is a Weapon of the Weak" to the Hawkwindian wah-fest of "She Was the Cutie of Camp Cooke" to the Sabbathy sludge of "Golden Gate Blues" to the ambient feedback and musique concrète of "Your Kingdom Falls" -- and this is just the first four tracks -- Dead in the Woods offers a 15-song (ranging from 40 seconds to nearly 11 minutes) excursion into the world of Grey Daturas, but it will prove to be only the tip of the iceberg as the world gets smaller and their back catalog of frustratingly difficult-to-find releases finds its way throughout the lucky continents. These sounds need to be heard.
AllMusic Review by Brian Way