Record review: DZ Deathrays – Black Rat (2014, LP)

dz deathrays black rat

Thrash-pop duo DZ Deathrays have come a long way since their beginnings playing Brisbane house parties. ARIA Award winners in 2012 for their debut Bloodstreams, singer-guitarist Shane Parsons and drummer Simon Ridley have been on a heavy touring schedule across the UK and America, including a recent appearance at SXSW, but they really need this second album to be a killer to keep the DZ thrash train a-rollin’. Luckily, Black Rat is a stone cold killer and then some; building on the hard-riffing, cymbal annihilating, throat shredding sound of their debut, but throwing a few curve balls and new layers into the mix. Choosing the almost dreamy ‘Northern Lights’ as the first single was a bold move for a thrash band known for their sweaty, hair-flinging live shows, but it’s a move that only further enforces their intention to branch out their sound and show a lighter side to their abilities. That’s not to say the majority of the 11 tracks here aren’t going to make you want to rock out with your socks out, as there’s plenty of familiar material for die-hards to get their teeth into. ‘Ocean Exploder’ is probably the hardest track, and is one the band have been playing since supporting The Bronx on their Australian tour last year, and ‘Night Walking’ is as slick as the band have been thus far. Second single ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ is a high point, featuring plenty of fat, nasty riffs and a clean vocal from Parsons, rounding off an album that does just about everything right. (I Oh You/Infectious)

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