Somewhere in a crowded room where pre-drinks are a distant memory, the strobe light is on. You’ve spit up on your shirt, but it’s all okay, your night has just begun.
Australian duo DZ Deathrays are fairly unlike anything you’ll find in the UK at the moment. Born from Brisbane house parties, their unique thrash-pop sound easily has as much in common with Pixies as it does Klaxons.
For the most part, Black Rat is a lot cheerier and a bit more party than DZ Deathrays’ previous releases. Of course they’ve maintained the grungy, poetic lyrics and gravelly vocal delivery, as well as the complex musicianship which is pivotal to the DZ Deathrays noise. The whole album is a wall of aggressively distorted guitars and hair-raising cymbals, topped off with lyrics which beg for them to be yelled back at the two-man band through sweaty crowds worldwide.
The constant switching between punky-thrash songs like ‘Gina Works at Hearts’ and the more laid back tunes like ‘Northern Lights’ make it impossible to treat Black Rat like background music – DZ Deathrays keep reeling you back in with mad drum fills and cheeky little riffs. Amidst this punk/gaze blur, there are songs like ‘Night Slave’ that are just magnificently funky.
Listen closely and you can hear the colours in the kaleidoscope changing, twisting and turning as each track on Black Rat throws up new styles and rhythms. Frequently during Black Rat, DZ Deathrays manage to give songs with quite harrowing lyrics a seriously uplifting feel, throwing a smile over their previously saddened demeanour.
Black Rat is the hour of the party you can remember. The walk home in the morning; the hazy patches in-between.