When I was about 14, everyone I knew was into pretty hardcore music, and I guess I was too. You know, screamo/emo/scene kid, that sort of thing. And it was cool because when you’re silly and a few beers deep, anything sounds great (see the Raz on Mondays).
It never occurred to me however, that I’d grow up and end up voluntarily opting to subject my ears to such visceral punishment again. Yet DZ Deathrays – the Australian two-piece who once had their set at SXSW shut down due to noise violations – sent me back to my “fringe days” with a vengeance. To consistently produce up to date, heavy, low slung rock is a bit of an ask for any artist, but seemingly not a challenge for these unassuming twentysomethings.
Influenced by such notable acts as Pulled Apart by Horses and DIE! DIE! DIE!, DZ have written their latest work over the last two years, while touring the US, Australia and right here in the UK. Tracks to listen out for on this 11 title release are “Ocean exploder” + “Tonight Alright”.
Releasing under the Infectious moniker (the label responsible for LSRadio sweethearts Drenge and Superfood) DZ Deathrays have hit the road with the likes of Blood Red Shoes, Foo Fighters and The Temper Trap.
Touring to promote their second album, Black Rat, their set was an energetic compromise between their older, more hectic material and the more balanced, refined studio material. Black Rat, DZ told us, had been mastered and produced in just 10 days in the basement of a dive bar which results in an album best suited to dark, charged environments. The blunt rock and subtle electro tones of “Fixations” were a marvel to hear live, when the Deathrays really let their hair down.
Black Rat intersperses brutal breakdowns with some lovely, slow, rut cutting riffs – DZ also switched their set up with hints of psychedllica and deem pop. Something about their intense, heavy sound kinda nods at their recent departure from adolescence, and also their metamorphosis from house party players to rock stars. Not to say they’ve lost any of their raw foundations. Check out their E.P. “Gina Works At Hearts” to know what I’m talking about.
An altogether hugely impressive live set here in Liverpool solidifies, and in many ways surpasses, their on-the-rise status.