DZ Deathrays, 20th July 2012 @ The Factory Theatre

Patrick Weyland-Smith on 25 July 2012 in Gig Reviews


DZ Deathrays

The Factory Theatre always feels like it is never full, but any spare room was simply feedback space for the aggressive sounds of DZ Deathrays. The crowd was packed with every single high school student from the Northern Beaches and Bondi, up to the nines in their Supre, General Pants and Factorie fashion. It was all in anticipation for a night of rollicking brutality.

The Fabergettes promised a lot, and could be a good band – they have all the ingredients to be amazing: interesting sound, memorable name and a good following; but their self-styled ‘doo-wop punk’ mix is delivered so amateurly, it’s just embarrassing.

The “punk” they claim is almost invisible. Lead vocalist Natalie Martin has none of the growl and charisma in her vocals or performance. The result: a shaky, unconfident and underwhelming set. They need more rehearsal, stronger songwriting and to take a hard look at their image. Listening to some grrl riot wouldn’t go a miss either.

The Bleeding Knees Club brought in some vibrancy, which was initially refreshing, but quickly soured. There’s an unashamed breezy Bondi hipster vibe here, Bleeding Knees are all the kids who grew up on The OC and never seemed to have grown out of it.

Audience members (prepubescent and possibly inebriated) could not stop jumping on stage to party with the band (much to the annoyance of the bouncer). Initial excitement over the band’s energy evaporated once realising: all the songs sound the same. Same chords, rhythms, even lyrical themes. Their song titles (‘Beach Slut’ for example) are pretty much a feminist’s worst nightmare. A good support act, but the novelty wears fast.

DZ Deathrays played a surprisingly short set that confirmed one thing: they are brilliant performers. The sheer brutality blew the crowd away, the guitar tone growled and glitches through the songs with the erratic and un-resting drums clashing alongside. The set was mainly that same dynamic monotone of loud.

They own loud, but one should not mistake volume for intensity. Both musicians brought strong technically brilliant performances, a heavy charismatic sound – but it can wear a listener out. Still, one of the most exciting bands from Australia and hopefully their sound progresses further.

Strong performances from DZs and Bleeding Knees, more work needed for the Fabergettes and all the bands need to spend more time honing a greater dynamic variety in their sets. Still, at the end of the day,a great night to get trashed too.

- Patrick Weyland-Smith


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