Words by Greg Mackenzie.
DZ Deathrays‘ Get Rich or Drunk Tryin’ tour wrapped up this weekend with two Brissy gigs and an appearance at Wollongong’s Farmer and the Owl festival. Punters who caught the dance-punk duo on Friday night at The Brightside were also treated to some primo support from Hockey Dad, and American trash-blues band, Bass Drum of Death.
Not quite matching the bigger acts in loudness or ferocity, Hockey Dad didn’t quite fit the hard rock bill of the night. Conjuring up a sound not dissimilar to Millions or a myriad of other indie-rock bands coming out of Australia’s suburbs, Hockey Dad aren’t entirely noteworthy. But they did make a pleasant enough start to the night before things turned more aggressive in the form of Bass Drum of Death.
Songs from BDoD’s earliest LP made for some thrashy, discordant fun, but understandably they drew on 2014’s, Rip This, for most of the set. Since their inception, BDoD have tightened up their sound to be less garage, and more refined, hitting home in their latest album with bigger riffs and sing-along-able choruses. It’s a sound that DZ fans should be familiar with, whether or not their tastes agree with the trash undertones that BDoD have retained. At best, it shows strong progression from the band, but you can’t help but feel they’re a little caught between their original sound (one they did extremely well) and their not quite executed aspirations to be the next FIDLAR.
Buzzsaw riffs, danceable hooks, fast paced drums, and aggressive vocals, DZ Deathrays are Brisbane’s Death From Above 1979, combining punk with dance music aesthetics. Two time ARIA winners for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album, the duo boast a huge repertoire of quality tracks. With DZ classics like Dollar Chills and Teenage Kickstarts, songs from 2012’s Bloodstreams thoroughly suited those in the audience prone to headbanging, while last year’s Black Rat features more danceable tracks.
Joining Shane Parsons (vocals/guitar) and Simon Ridley (drums) were an additional two musicians who added extra thump to the already electric pair. The headliners were also accompanied by a fully hectic, sick brah, light display. Peak way through favourites like Gina Works at Hearts or Reflective Skull it was hard not to lose yourself. Night Slave, with its steady beat, a crowd going nuts in the foreground, and neon blasting behind the band, conjured up images of an electric, zombie horde marching to battle. To be fair, that’s not terribly far from the reality: a couple hundred drunk teens and drugged up twenty-somethings packed into the sold-out Brightside, all losing their shit.
Oh yeah, they also covered Darude‘s Sandstorm for an encore. Nuff said.