Home > TheRest > The Datsuns – Self-Titled

The Datsuns – Self-Titled

V2 Records, 2002

You pull out this record and you tell me you’re not digging that album cover?  Say what?  Look, there’s some raggedy-haired guys on the top of their band name aaaand they’re raggedy on the bottom too!  Speaking honestly, I like that black-and-white mirror effect.  Considering they likely named themselves after the sporty Datsun roadster, there isn’t much of a conclusion to make other than that these guys are a rock ‘n roll band.  What do you know, I like that stuff.

Based out of New Zealand, the debut from the Datsuns is everything one can expect from a debut garage rock band anywhere.  They make lots of noise, they prove they have plenty of energy, and they certainly wish to make an audio impact.  You have heard these guys before in other bands, but perhaps the fact that they’re from New Zealand will sway you that these guys are different from the usual American spinoffs.

The record begins with force as one might expect from a band that is out to prove itself to your ears.  “Sittin’ Pretty” begins with an excellent guitar riff that drums up steadily to a blazing speed.  It’s a great three minute intro to a slew of similar three minute songs.  However, Dolf De Borst’s vocals increase from mid-range to higher ranges as each song progresses.  By the time the listener gets to  “Harmonic Projector”, De Borst with a flutter in his voice.  Oh man.  The band thankfully exacts its powerful strength to drown him out a bit in “What Would I Know”, which showcases the group in its first prolonged rock effort.  Finally, the Datsuns have stepped it up a bit.

De Borst gets a little screamy after awhile on “At Your Touch” and “Fink For the Man”, which doesn’t diminish from the power groove the band puts on.  Still, you would think De Borst wouldn’t have to sound like his fingers got caught in a car door to get the zeal across.  As De Borst’s voice gets higher and higher one starts to tune him out as over-excessive.  Plus, after repeated listens of “Fink” one will wonder if the guy finally pops into an explosion of bloody guts.  Hey, it’s possible.  Really though … could use less scream, pal.

Despite the somewhat pedestrian first half of the record, the Datsuns really excel near the end.  By this time one has heard everything they could have thrown at the listener, so usually bands just regurgitate the same stuff or try to get artsy with a few quirky tunes that everyone inevitably hates.  The Datsuns choose to ramp it up even louder.  The songs “In Love”, “You Build Me Up (to Bring Me Down)” and the epic “Freeze Sucker” act as ignition/blastoff that sends the band off into rockout space.  These are really good tunes, and “Freeze Sucker” doesn’t get dull even after six minutes.  Regardless of what one thinks of the album as a whole, at least the Datsuns know what gets us to listen in the first place.

Listen to them on MySpace and read all about them on their website if you’d like.

Although the Datsuns’ debut is definitely a good time, they may not stand out as something one would pursue.  One might even say these guys were simply part of that Jet/Hives wave of garage revival and never caught on because they got drowned out from the rest of the long-haired rockers.  However, the Datsuns are still making records and touring in New Zealand!  That’s got to mean something, eh?  At least they’re big somewhere and are influencing youth to form their own garage bands.  Perhaps this means that some kind of new AC/DC will be sprung upon us in the near future thanks to these guys.  Oh never mind, they’re Australian… some other famed New Zealand rock band, then.

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