The Datsuns don't fix what wasn't broke but Eye To Eye still engrosses

Eye To Eye finds long dormant Kiwi blues rockers The Datsuns reawaken with a wider 70s perspective

The Datsuns album cover
(Image: © Hellsquad)

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’Finding this new universe was easy,’ sings Dolf de Borst on In Record Time which, musically speaking, is tough to believe. 

It’s been seven years since New Zealand’s The Datsuns – frontrunners of the 00s Antipodean blues rock revival that also gave us Jet, and Kiwi kissing cousins of The White Stripes and The Hives back in 2004 – released their sixth album Deep Sleep, and this seventh doesn’t exactly rocket straight off the launchpad into uncharted quadrants. 

Even when debating the technological erosion of humanity, blues-heavy AC/DC garage rock remains the day’s order, albeit with krautpsych touches (Brain To Brain), a synthetic Muse metal feel (Suspicion, Sweet Talk) or seemingly played 20rpms or so too fast on a turntable on fire (Dehumanise). 

It wasn’t broke, they didn’t fix it, but more engrossing are the moments when they embrace prog, mating Deep Purple with Can for the compulsive In Record Time (complete with authentic 70s poltergeist solos) or, on Moongazer, imagining what Pink Floyd’s Money might have sounded like if David Bowie had replaced Syd Barrett.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle.