The intro track to newcomers DZ Deathrays’ debut album hints at something coming, the staccato electronic taps blended out by static fuzz and overdriven guitar before launching headfirst into the first track. With a raw intensity not seen on many albums these days, especially not Australian albums, DZ Deathrays have captured a rocking live punk set on record.
There are a few things that make this album stand head and shoulders above most local punk releases:
The clarity of the vocals is probably the single most significant element to DZ Deathrays’ success. Tracks “Dollar Chills” and “Play Dead Till You’re Dead” in particular see the singer’s excellent delivery put the band’s lyrics on display. “Play Dead Till You’re Dead” is quite slow going at times and feels like the band started it slower than they meant to and then didn’t know how to play a slower song. The gaps at the end of lyrical lines needed something to fill them, like a Liam Gallagher-esque drawl or something extra from their guitarist. As it is, its sparseness makes it sounds dirge-like.
Unfortunately tracks like Dinomight give the impression they are deliberately unpolished to sound ‘punk.’ Unfortunately in an album that has obviously polished elements, tracks like this stand out as a testament to the deliberateness of this album. Punk’s strength lies in its immediacy. This can be balanced out by a strong attention to detail, but you can’t demonstrate both in the same album and expect it to gel.
Bloodstreams therefore stands as a testament to a band who are unsure as to their own sound. Their next album should be amazing, provided they make a choice to either be very prepared, or totally intuitive. With a greater clarity of their vision, DZ Deathrays could have and in the future, will release a brilliant album that will hopefully get Australia on its feet and rocking.