The Datsuns - Deep Sleep (Hellsquad Records)

Album number six from the legendary kiwis delivers on all fronts
Release Date: 
6 Oct 2014 - 12:00pm

My first car was a honey brown Datsun 1600 (a 510 for our US friends) I inherited from my old man, well inherited until he sold it. I loved that daggy little car, it had good go for a little bloke, lots of grunt n guts. Much like our (Aus) hard rockin’ brothers from another mother (NZ), The Datsuns, who have released a new slab of tunes, their first since 2012s Death Rattle Boogie. And it’s a fine slab of psyche hard rockin’ fuzz the boys bring to the table on Deep Sleep. Recorded in just ten days, Deep Sleep boasts 10 tunes that are typically Datsuns and guaranteed to get a party started.

The opening track on the album is Caught in the Silver, it’s driven by a slinky bass line before the guitars explode into action. It’s a great way to open proceedings, trippy, ballsy space rock best sums this up. Bad Taste is up next and is the first single off the album; it sees the band riffing their way exuberantly through a monstrously catchy tune that will have you reaching for the bong and the volume knob.

Claw Machine reminds me of Monster Magnet (truth be told there is a fair offering of material mined from a similar place that Wyndorf gets his from throughout Deep Sleep) and that is no bad thing, it creeps along all innocently to begin with before picking up the pace and skipping into an acid trip. Shaky Mirrors follows and rips along at break neck speed, revelling in Sabbath-like adulation with a cool little drum breakdown changing the pace mid song.

500 Eyes has that dreamy, slow stoner rocker vibe that The Datsuns riff on so well, this is what the Polyphonic Spree might sound like if they had balls. That’s What You Get starts with an AC/DC type intro before the song rips in with a classy groove and a Beatlesque melody through the chorus, even the guitar solo gives a little nod to the Fab Four, albeit with a little more frothing at the mouth than the Liverpudlians ever managed.

Creature of the Week provides a little nod to Iron Butterfly; it’s got the heavy with a great dose of melody and some tasty guitar work. Looking Glass Lies stomps along, kicking everyone who stands in its way in the teeth before Sun in my Eyes mellows proceedings out a little; don’t get me wrong, it’s no ballad, it just doesn’t pump along as powerfully as many of the other songs on Deep Sleep. It’s probably the song on the album that showcases the bands more psychedelic blues influences to their best; think great sixties psyche bands like Afterglow, Clear Light, December’s Children or The Electric Prunes.

The album closes out with the title track, another mellower (well less frantic) tune. The boys successfully channel the vibe of a deep sleep on this one, and it feels dreamy and chaotic in places. It’s a great way to close out the album with the ethereal guitar floating us to the end of our journey where you’re climbing into wakefulness from the bleary eyed haze of sleep (or from the depths of a water pipe).

There’s nothing particularly new going on here, this isn’t The Datsuns embracing a new style, this is exactly what you would expect from this band and that’s a good, even great, thing. Pretty much my only gripe with this album is (according to the Datsuns’ website) it has only been released digitally in Australia but also on CD and vinyl in New Zealand, UK and Europe. Looks like an order from NZ is in line but come on boys, give your fans across the ditch a slab of wax too.