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The Datsuns: Deep Sleep *

Album Notes

A nice side effect of being a band indebted to the past since your inception is that the years wear well on you. Such is the case with New Zealand heavy rockers the Datsuns, who've been peddling a fuzz-drenched retro hard rock since 2002 and continue to mine that vein on 2014's Deep Sleep, entrenching themselves in every manner of '70s heavy rock that they can worship. They'll churn out thick-chorded rockers reminiscent of AC/DC, ominous monuments of doom straight out of Sabbath, a bit of untrammeled fury recalling Detroit renegades the Stooges or MC5, or some straight-up boogie ("That's What You Get" could vie with Foghat), a broad palette that would be enjoyable on its own, but Deep Sleep shows the benefits of veteran status by being accentuated by flair taken from something other than a double-gatefold LP. Usually, this amounts to any number of lifts from '60s psychedelia: the foreboding "500 Eyes" lightens up on its verses thanks to its sly melody, "Creature of the Week" pulsates with trippy organs, "Sun in My Eyes" pounds with the abandon of a garage rocker. These fluctuations, quite easy to hear under the sheets of fuzz, is what keeps Deep Sleep from being just another solid record for the Datsuns and amounts to something akin to a progression. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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