The Datsuns – Death Rattle Boogie

October 28, 2012 by  

I’ve always thought The Datsuns were a little underrated. Yes, we all remember them after a short period of vagueness – your eyes light up in recognition at a time long long ago when NME was still relevant and the awful legacy of The Libertines hadn’t quite come into fruition (That isn’t a dig at the Libertines. It’s the people that followed them). Remember? There was that garage rock revival that was eventually submerged under a sea of trilbys and Craig Nicholls assault cases. It’s all clear now. You stopped listening to The Datsuns and started listening to shitter bands such as, for example, The Killers. Fast forward 10 years and nobody can be bothered any more. We’ve all forgotten about those motherfuckers from hell and we’re listening to House music and booking holidays to Croatia. Or something like that. I don’t know what you did because I wasn’t there.

Anyway, The Datsun’s fifth album “Death Rattle Boogie” sees the band return with the same ferocity as they’ve always given. I was once told that it’s no good if a band releases an album similar to their last as there’s no sense of progression and bands need to progress. I was also once told that if something’s not broke don’t fix it. The Datsuns recent album embodies the latter opinion, which also happens to be my own. The opening track “Gods are Bored” is just so good. It’s infectious and heart-warmingly old skool in how it epitomizes hard rock in a way that can only be described as authentic.

The guitar is as thick and distorted as ever, the vocals energetic and the guitar solo’s brilliantly frequent and frequently brilliant. The rest of the album carries on in a similar vein. The second song “Gold Halo” begins the first 35 seconds with one of the best openings of a song I’ve ever heard if you, like me, are a fan of rock n roll theatrics. But even if you’re not, it’s still undoubtedly uplifting. There’s this guitar part that goes ninganing ninganing ninganing ning dununun ninganing ninganing niiing. It’s incredible. Rudolf de Borst then bursts onto the track with some decidedly Plant-sounding vocals before the track launches into a series of ridiculous guitar solos. “Gold Halo” is spontaneous sex turned into a song – without meaning to be crude. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it. It’s easily one of the best on the album. Maybe even one of the best the band have ever done.

This isn’t at all to say that every track is as good as the opening two. There are a few sloggers and parts that sound a bit worn-out. The tenth track “Fools Gold” sounds almost stale and of course bears no resemblance to its predecessor. It’s an okay track but with the energy that we know the Datsuns are capable of producing okay isn’t enough to keep you listening.

“Death Rattle Boogie” isn’t all strobey face-melty rock n roll the whole way through. There are tinges of the psychedelic, the acid-spiked and the debauched. “Wander the night” is a smokey, jazz-esque track that sounds like 4am. It is this song, I think, in particular that firmly cements The Datsuns as a long standing talented and creditable band. What they lack in being dynamic they make up for in dynamism and raw talent. Yes!


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